Participating DOE Laboratories and Sites

Savannah River Site

The Savannah River Site (SRS) is dedicated to maintaining the highest possible safety standards. It is a key Department of Energy (DOE) industrial complex responsible for stewardship of the environment, the enduring nuclear weapons stockpile, and nuclear materials. More specifically, SRS processes and stores nuclear materials in support of the national defense and U.S. nuclear nonproliferation efforts. The site also develops and deploys technologies to improve the environment and treat nuclear and hazardous wastes left from the Cold War. The SRS complex covers 198,344 acres, or 310 square miles, encompassing parts of Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties in South Carolina, bordering the Savannah River.

The site is owned by DOE and operated by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, a Fluor Daniel partnership. Other team members are Northrop Grumman and Honeywell, with subcontractors Lockheed Martin and Nuclear Fuel Services. About 55 percent of the site population is SRNS employees, while DOE employees represent about 3.7 percent. The rest are SRNS subcontractors and other DOE contractors, including the site's liquid waste contractor, Washington Savannah River Company; the security contractor, Wackenhut Services Inc.; Shaw AREVA MOX Services; Parsons; the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, operated by the University of Georgia; and the U.S. Forest Service-Savannah River.

Research and development is performed at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) known as the Savannah River Technology Center until May 2004. SRNL creates, tests and deploys solutions to the technological challenges facing the site and the nation.

The Savannah River Site does not conduct basic human experimentation; for example, research necessary to evaluate new treatments for cancer. However, a number of epidemiological and health studies of SRS workers, former employees, and members of the surrounding communities are currently being performed by outside research institutions such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

To protect the safety and privacy of subjects participating in this research, SRS has established an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to monitor handling of health information. All of the studies being conducted by external institutions are reviewed by external IRBs prior to review by the SRS IRB. On occasion, the SRS IRB reviews human factors studies performed using volunteer workers.

Content reviewed: November 12, 2013