AIKEN – Registration is open for the Savannah River Site 2018 public tour program. More than 1,000 seats are available during 22 tours to be held throughout the year.
The program is managed by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) for the Department of Energy Savannah River Operations Office.
With the Savannah River Site encompassing 310 square miles, tours provide the public with an opportunity to see and learn about current activities and future missions, as well as many historic and operational facilities that were responsible for the production of plutonium and tritium during the Cold War.
The sights and sounds of the SRS can be filled with discovery as you travel through scenic wilderness and past nuclear production facilities. Whether Cold War history, cutting-edge nuclear technology or the site’s high-tech national laboratory, there’s much to learn about at SRS.
Four historic tours (hosted in partnership with the SRS Cold War Historic Preservation Group) will be offered again this year featuring the former town of Ellenton, C Reactor and the site’s Curation Facility. Also 2018 brings the addition of several early-morning tours. Participants should check times carefully prior to signing up for a tour.
"We want to ensure that local citizens, newcomers and visitors to the area are fully informed about the missions and current activities at the Savannah River Site,” said Elizabeth Harm, SRNS Tour Program coordinator. “Though we work hard to meet this goal in a variety of ways, participating in a public tour provides the perfect opportunity to see the incredible work being accomplished here behind the fences."
Traveling within large and comfortable commercial buses, driving tours provide members of the public with an opportunity to see many of the historic and current operating facilities at SRS. Tour participants also learn about the site’s future missions.
The public tour concludes at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, where the purpose of the lab is explained and several types of animals are presented while the historic tour concludes at the SRS Curation Facility.
Each tour starts at the Aiken County Applied Research Center, located off Highway 278, near New Ellenton and is free to members of the public.
“This tour was better than I had hoped for or expected,” said Donna Arbaugh, a resident of Jackson. “My husband, daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the things we learned about SRS. The tour program gave us so much information, it was astounding. It was comprehensive including both history and what is to come for SRS. I will take the tour again in another year. It was that good!”
To register, visit www.srs.gov/general/tour/public.htm. If you experience difficulty registering online, call 803-952-8994.
Each tour accommodates up to 50 people. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and U.S. citizens.
Seats are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Large groups can be accommodated by calling the above phone number.
Here are tour dates for 2018:
- January 16 (12:30 p.m.)
- January 23 (8 a.m.)
- February 13 (12:30 p.m.)
- February 20 (12:30 p.m.)
- March 13 (12:30 p.m.)
- March 20 (12:30 p.m.)
- April 12 (8 a.m. - Historic Tour)
- April 24 (8 a.m. – Historic Tour)
- May 15 (12:30 p.m.)
- May 22 (12:30 p.m.)
- June 7 (12:30 p.m.)
- June 19 (8 a.m.)
- July 12 (12:30 p.m.)
- July 24 (12:30 p.m.)
- August 9 (12:30 p.m.)
- August 21 (8 a.m.)
- September 6 (12:30 p.m.)
- September 18 (12:30 p.m.)
- October 11 (12:30 p.m.)
- October 23 (8 a.m. - Historic Tour)
- November 1 (12:30 p.m. – Historic Tour)
- December 11 (8 a.m.)