Genie Lifts Aid in Nuclear Cleanup at Savannah River Site

Nov. 25, 2013

The Savannah River Site (SRS) is a nuclear reservation located in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties in South Carolina, adjacent to the Savannah River. Owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), it is the site of several federal government projects involving nuclear waste cleanup, new plant construction and more.

Genie lifts are currently utilized on the reservation as part of a long-term contract between the DOE and local dealer Blue Star Rental & Sales Inc., which is based out of nearby North Augusta, S.C. Leased products at the SRS include Z-40N articulating booms and GS-3246 scissor lifts.

Their applications range from use in remediation work areas, to helping dismantle disused nuclear facilities. The lifts have been particularly useful in getting workers to tight, confined spaces, says Blue Star Rental & Sales founder and owner Randy Chafin, as well as getting them safely to spaces in work areas that have been exposed to nuclear materials.

The Z-40N boom lift has a narrow wheelbase, with a working height of 46 feet 5 inches, and can lift up to 500 pounds. Its 4-foot 11-inch wide chassis and 2-feet 7-inch turning radius makes it suitable for the congested and tight work areas that can be found at the SRS. It has a horizontal reach of 22 feet 8 inches.

The GS-3246 scissor lift has a working height of 38 feet and has the capacity to lift up to 700 pounds. Its features include a 39-inch rollout platform extension as well as folding rails with a full-height swing gate. Its specifications make it also ideal for maneuvering in confined spaces.

Other Genie machines that are at the SRS include the S-60 telescopic boom and Z-60/34 articulating boom. In addition to Genie’s booms and scissor lifts, ultra high boom lifts have also been used at the SRS, according to Chafin.

Nuclear waste cleanup is one of the primary missions at the SRS, which during the Cold War was a nuclear operations site that produced weapons-grade materials for warheads. Since then the focus has shifted to cleaning up much of the waste generated during that time, as well as constructing new facilities for converting the materials into useable fuel at commercial power plants. The SRS also receives sensitive nuclear materials shipped from other sites owned by the DOE as well as the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).