From 1950 until the
late 1980s, the Savannah River Site conducted
multiple operations that played a vital role in
the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Of greatest
importance were the production of plutonium and
tritium. Many facilities were built at SRS to
support these production efforts and to address
their resulting environmental impacts. They
include five nuclear reactors, two chemical
separation plants (also known as canyons), a
nuclear fuel and target fabrication facility, a
heavy water plant, and waste management
facilities. In addition, SRS is the location of
the Savannah River Technology Center and the
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.
SRS remains a key Department of Energy facility with an important national security mission of maintaining the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile and ensuring future production capabilities.
Throughout the course of its operations, the potential for beryllium exposure existed at this site, due to beryllium use, residual contamination, and decontamination activities.