Stimulus creates SRS jobs

The region is getting a shot in the arm from the federal economic stimulus package.

The Savannah River Site will receive $1.615 billion in stimulus funds, according to a late breaking announcement from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The DOE and the White House release statements the afternoon of March 30 about the job creation.
The allocations, which will create about 3,000 jobs to hasten the cleanup of contaminated areas, is part of $6 billion in environmental funding that will be distributed to similar sites in 12 states, according to the DOE announcement.

At SRS, the jobs created will last for the next 30 months, said SRS DOE spokesman Jim Giusti.

The majority of the jobs and new hires will be technical, construction and staff augumentations as each specific job starts, he said.

"These are projects that were planned for later years, but they have been moved forward and some are ongoing projects that have been expanded," he said.

Guisti said he expects SRS to start breaking ground on the projects in the next 30 to 60 days.

"SRS is looking forward to completing the work and providing an economic stimulus to the community," Guisti said.

New jobs financed with stimulus package dollars are expected to enable earlier completion of cleanup programs that include shipping more than 4,500 cubic meters of waste out of South Carolina and reduce the site's industrial area by 40 percent, or 79,000 acres, by 2011, according to the DOE.

The projects will consolidate operations into the interior of the site, said Guisti.

More than 50 contaminated areas of the site will be cleaned-up and more than 100 facilities will be decommissioned and demolished, said Guisti.

SRS, with pending projects that include decommissioning two nuclear material production reactors, is second only to the Hanford Site in Washington in the amount of funding it will receive, according to Department of Energy data.

Other allocations announced include: Oak Ridge, Tenn., $755 million; Office of River Protection, Wash., $326 million; Idaho National Laboratory, $468 million; Los Alamos National Labotatory, N.M., $172 million; Brookhaven and West Valley, N.Y., $148 million; Miamisburg and Portsmouth, Ohio, $138 million; Moab, Utah, $108 million;Argonne National Laboratory, Ill., $99 million; Paducah, Ky., $79 million; sites in California, $62 million; Nevada Test Site, $44 million; headquarters and oversight, $70 million; and various other programs, $69 million.