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Savannah River National Laboratory

A 310-square-mile site, the Savannah River National Laboratory is situated in the southeastern coastal area of the United States in the state of South Carolina. It is about 25 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia, and is bordered on the west by the Savannah River. The Savannah River National Laboratory was built during the 1950s to produce the basic materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, primarily tritium and plutonium-239. The site served the nation through safe, secure, cost-effective management of their nuclear weapons stockpile, nuclear materials, and the environment. In 1988, the production of nuclear materials for the defense department was discontinued. The present operation of the Savannah River National Laboratory Site includes waste management and nitrification, special nuclear material storage, research and development, and technology transfer. It also reprocesses tritium from the weapons stockpile. The Savannah River Site has five production reactors (all of which are shut down), three chemical separation plants, three tritium processing facilities, 51 high-level underground waste storage tanks, and a high-level waste processing facility. The tank farms on Savannah River Site can store about 35 million gallons of liquid waste. They have four evaporators (two are operational) for waste concentration, transfer pipelines, 14 diversion boxes, 13 pump pits, and associated tanks and pumps required for waste transfers.