Around 1,300 pounds of nitroglycerin-based explosives brought down a 450 foot tall cooling tower at the Savannah River Site near Augusta. The project was paid for with federal stimulus dollars. (Image courtesy DOE)
Nearly $4 million in stimulus money paid for the demolition of a 450 foot tall cement cooling tower at the Savannah River Site Tuesday.
The tower was built in the early 90s to cool water used for production of nuclear weapons but it was never used. That’s because the cold war ended.
SRS spokesperson Jim Giusti says getting rid of the structure will save money and make room for future construction projects.
"What we’re trying to do is get rid of older facilities that no longer have a mission or a use on the site so that we can then reduce our overhead cost for maintaining those facilities," said Giusti. "We can use that money in other places including environmental cleanup."
Officials say it will take three months to clear the debris left behind after the demolition. The cooling tower is the second largest to be demolished worldwide.