The Department of Energy (DOE) has the vast responsibility of advancing the national, economic, and energy security of the United States, as well as promoting scientific and technological innovation and protecting the environment. As part of these responsibilities, the DOE also must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and other cultural resource laws and regulations.
New South Associates has extensive experience providing cultural resource services to the DOE and understands how to apply federal regulations to Cold War-era resources. Some of the most comprehensive work that New South Associates has conducted has been at the Savannah River Site (SRS). This work results from of the DOE’s long-standing and on-going project at SRS where the primary mission over the past 40 years has focused on the production of nuclear materials for national defense. However, since 1988, most of the sites’ nuclear production reactors have been decommissioned. They have since changed from nuclear production to environmental restoration and waste management activities. As part of the new direction, the DOE has contracted New South Associates to record and document the history of the SRS. The following list provides a summary of the work completed to dat at SRS.
• Recordation of more than 800 buildings for architectural inventories of Cold War-era buildings;
• Recommendations for the preservation of materials and buildings which are considered to be historically significant;
• Documentation to nominate selected buildings to the National Register of Historic Places;
• Assignment of a permanent staff member dedicated to the collection and curation of artifacts and archives at the SRS installation, resulting in the development of a Cold War Artifact Collection Management Plan;
• Significant archival research resulting in the documentation of many different parts of SRS’s operations, as well as oral history interviews with over 60 informants;
• Preparation of a Historic Preservation Plan for SRS’s Cold-War historic properties; and
• Development of documents and electronic files that narrate the history of the SRS, including a popular brochure commemorating the 50th anniversary of the site and a fully designed and illustrated history book titled Savannah River Site at Fifty, printed by the Government Printing Office and winner of the American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA).
In addition to its work with DOE at SRS, New South Associates has also worked to support DOE’s programs at Oak Ridge, including research of workers’ housing areas.