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TO RECOGNIZE SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2020 AS "SAVANNAH RIVER SITE DAY" IN SOUTH CAROLINA, IN HONOR OF THE SITE'S FOUNDING ON THAT DATE IN 1950, AND TO COMMEND ALL CURRENT AND FORMER SAVANNAH RIVER SITE EMPLOYEES FOR THEIR IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE AND GLOBAL NUCLEAR DETERRENCE OVER THE PAST SEVENTY YEARS.
Whereas, in the early days of the Cold War, the Department of Energy established the Savannah River Site, a secure manufacturing complex on the Savannah River. The Savannah River Site's mission, which it continues to this day, was to support the nation's nuclear defense. At the time, its work helped America win the Cold War and maintain global nuclear deterrence; and
Whereas, today, the Savannah River Site is the nation's only facility for extracting, recycling, purifying, and reloading tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that is a key element of modern nuclear weapons; and
Whereas, the Savannah River Site's three hundred ten-square miles cover nearly two hundred thousand acres, including parts of Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale counties; and
Whereas, with an annual budget of approximately $2.3 billion, the Savannah River Site has an enormous economic impact across a two-state region; and
Whereas, the Savannah River Site employs a highly skilled workforce of more than eleven thousand in key defense, research and development, and cleanup missions. For seventy years, this workforce has answered the call to meet the nation's nuclear defense needs with honor, integrity, professionalism, dedication, and commitment; and
Whereas, with a proven track record, the Savannah River Site is one of the safest sites in the Department of Energy Complex and one of the safest major industrial sites in the world; and
Whereas, the Savannah River Site is also home to the Savannah River National Laboratory, one of only seventeen national laboratories in the United States. Its nearly one thousand scientists, engineers, and support staff focus on environmental stewardship, national security, nuclear materials management, energy security, and other missions important to the nation and beyond; and
Whereas, in 1972, the Savannah River Site was designated as the first National Environmental Research Park to provide opportunities to study the environmental impacts of energy and defense-related technologies; and
Whereas, H Canyon at the Savannah River Site is the only production-scale, shielded chemical separations facility for environmental cleanup and nuclear nonproliferation efforts in operation in the United States; and
Whereas, the Savannah River Site has been a leader in creating and implementing technologies for its new Salt Waste Processing Facility, which will protect people and the environment by safely processing nuclear salt waste, and for the immobilization of more than sixteen million pounds of Cold War legacy wastes at the Defense Waste Processing Facility, the nation's only operating vitrification operation. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate:
That the members of the South Carolina Senate, by this resolution, recognize Saturday, November 28, 2020 as "Savannah River Site Day" in South Carolina, in honor of the site's founding on that date in 1950, and commend all current and former Savannah River Site employees for their important contributions to our national defense and global nuclear deterrence over the past seventy years.
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