Learn About The Nation’s History In Present-Day Thoroughbred Country, SC

Monday, January 23, 2017 - by Mary Ann Keisler

What do the Cold War and a Kentucky Derby competitor horse have in common? Nuclear power and the Mennonites? Opposites collide in a beautiful way in South Carolina’s Thoroughbred Country, situated along I-20, between Atlanta and Charleston – just east of Augusta. From North Augusta, travel through Thoroughbred Country’s charming small towns, including Williston, Blackville, Denmark and Bamberg, to Charleston and Hilton Head, by US 78 and US 278. Venture off the beaten path and take US 301, 321 or 1 as alternate routes – driving through new opportunities for cultural explorations in the counties of Thoroughbred Country located along these pathways. Or follow I-95 on the other side of Bamberg County and take a new route to the final destination. While in Thoroughbred Country, visit the Savannah River Site — a 198,344-acre key Department of Energy industrial complex, established in the 1950s as a nuclear reservation in the United States in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties, adjacent to the Savannah River, 25 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia. The plant was used to produce the basic materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, primarily tritium and plutonium-239, in support of the nation’s defense programs. Five reactors were built to produce these materials. Also built were a number of support facilities including two chemical separations plants, a heavy water extraction plant, a nuclear fuel and target fabrication facility, a tritium extraction facility and waste management facilities. Now a hydrogen production facility, the Site is a top employer in the area.

Today the Savannah River Site (SRS) is responsible for stewardship of the environment, the enduring nuclear weapons stockpile and nuclear materials. More specifically, SRS processes and stores nuclear materials in support of the national defense and U.S. nuclear non-proliferation efforts. The Site also develops and deploys technologies to improve the environment and treat nuclear and hazardous wastes left from the Cold War. Visit www.srs.gov/general/tour/public.htm to sign up for one of the limited, free, controlled driving tours, offered on a bus provided by the SRS, requiring advanced registration and credentials and open to the public each year.

TIP: You must be 18 years or older to take the tour. Coming soon, heritage tours will be offered, covering the towns that were relocated due to the building of the SRS, providing a visualization of the history of the area and delving into the lives of the people who were affected by the plant.



Baseball Legend Cal Ripken, Jr., Music, Larger-Than-Life-Sized Balloons Highlight Pigeon Forge’s New Music In The Mountains Spring Parade On May 4

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This Week’s Tennessee Tourism Round Up

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Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

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A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)