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A service for energy industry professionals · Tuesday, March 31, 2020 · 513,458,025 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Tritium facility at Savannah River Site reaches key milestone

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has approved the cost and schedule range for the Tritium Finishing Facility (TFF) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina.

TFF will replace a facility constructed in the 1950s facing age-related problems and maintenance costs that could jeopardize tritium production operations necessary to maintain the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

“Investment in our infrastructure represents tangible proof of America’s commitment to nuclear deterrence,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “The Tritium Finishing Facility will ensure a vital capability for decades to come with greater efficiencies and reduced operating costs.”

NNSA approved a cost range of $305 million to $640 million with a completion date expected between Fiscal Years 2029 and 2031.

SRS is the only site in the Nuclear Security Enterprise to extract and process tritium, which is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen and an integral component of nuclear weapons. The gas decays over time so the tritium must be replenished regularly. TFF’s construction will enable the continued safe and secure execution of this national security mission.

“For 70 years, the men and women at SRS have played a vital role in maintaining the nuclear deterrent,” said Gordon-Hagerty. “Today, more than ever, it is essential that the stewards of the U.S. nuclear stockpile have modern facilities to carry out their missions safely and securely.”  

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