Stephen B. Morton/AP
The H-Cayon control room at the Savannah River Site still uses 1950's technology with analog instruments that still operate within modern industrial safety standards, Nov., 20, 2013. The Energy Department began to cure an environmental nightmare at the site in 1996 by opening a factory to turn liquid radioactive wastes into a safer form.

'All clear' at nuclear facility after bomb scare: What is Savannah River?

A delivery truck triggered a lockdown Monday and bomb scare late Monday afternoon.

A delivery truck at the Savannah River Site caused a panic before officials declared the area safe Monday evening, police said.

Officials declared an emergency at the nuclear site located in Aiken, S.C., on the Savannah River, after a bomb-sniffing dog detected possible explosive residue on a truck.

Law enforcement agencies from South Carolina and Georgia were called on the scene to assist on-site security guards comb through the former bomb-making site for two hours.

Site barricades were closed to incoming traffic though there was no indication of a consequence beyond the facility’s boundaries, officials said on their Facebook Page.

Finding nothing inside the truck, officials opened the facility and the site returned to normal activities at 5:52 p.m., officials said.

The Savannah River Site, which is owned by the US Department of Energy was built in the early 1950s, first in producing nuclear materials in support of United State’s defense weapons programs. After the Cold War ended, the facility was used to stabilize nuclear materials and spent nuclear fuel from the site, as well as from foreign and domestic research reactors.

Last week, the facility celebrated 60 years of service to the United States and in a speech to employees at the site during the event, US Congressman Joe Wilson (R) of South Carolina said,  “For 60 years, the Canyon has supported this country’s nuclear material needs,” said Mr. Wilson.

“There is no other place in the United States that has served our nation in this way. During the Cold War, it was involved with nuclear material production, significantly contributing to a victory for democracy. Today, H Canyon proves that it is a great asset to our nation by helping to keep nuclear materials in a safe and secure location, and I am grateful for their dedicated, capable employees.”

The site has also produced plutonium for NASA to use in space exploration and uranium for electricity production.

Six towns were moved to make way for the 310-square-mile Savannah River Plant which is now known as the Savannah River Site.  

Currently, the industrial complex focuses on environmental cleanup, waste management and disposition of nuclear materials, as well as Department of Energy’s missions in national security, energy independence, and innovative technology. 

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to 'All clear' at nuclear facility after bomb scare: What is Savannah River?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today