Oct. 7—Crews at the Savannah River Site recently knocked down an industrial cooling tower, a remnant of the Cold War era.
The 50-foot tower was built in 1952 and was once used to remove heat from water used to generate steam, the Energy Department explained in an announcement. Its razing marks another step forward in the remediation of D-Area, where heavy water was extracted for use in site reactors.
"Working closely with our subcontractor" — CTI and Associates — "this demolition task was completed inexpensively, ahead of schedule, and without a safety incident," said Kelsey Holcomb, a project manager with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. "One of the few remaining steps is to remove 70 years worth of debris out of the concrete basin itself, where water accumulated before being pumped back to the powerhouse."
CTI and Associates is scheduled to remove more structures from D-Area in the near future. The cooling tower takedown was on an accelerated schedule, according to Holcomb.
"Our goal is to return every waste site at SRS to a more natural state, which also reduces associated maintenance and environmental surveillance costs," the project manager said. "Project by project, we're continually learning how to better treat area closure sites."
The Savannah River Site is overseen by the Energy Department's nuclear cleanup office, Environmental Management. Founded in 1989, EM is tasked with addressing the environmental legacy of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored energy research.
More than 85,000 cubic feet of waste and scrap have been removed from D-Area, according to the Energy Department.