US nuclear site placed in lockdown over explosive scare

SRS Powerhouse Transformer Removal © Savannah River Site
The US Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site nuclear reservation in South Carolina was briefly placed on lockdown Monday after a delivery truck scan prompted an emergency response over potential explosive residue.

A "potential security event" was declared after electronic scans and detection dogs discovered a "possibility of explosive residue" on a delivery truck, the Energy Department said in a press release.

"Law enforcement agencies from South Carolina and Georgia were called and are on the scene to assist Centerra, the site security contractor," the agency stated.

Ultimately, the all-clear was given and no explosive material or residue was uncovered, the department said.

A US official told Reuters that the detection dog on duty had overreacted when it started barking at the delivery truck.

According to WJBF News, the site was placed on lockdown. People were later allowed to leave the facility but not enter it.

Bomb-detection units were also brought into the facility as a precaution, WJBF reported.

“Site barricades are currently closed to incoming traffic. There is no indication of a consequence beyond the Savannah River Site boundaries,” the Energy Department’s press release stated.

First constructed in the 1950s, the Savannah River Site is a facility that was used to refine nuclear material that was to be used in nuclear weapons. It now purifies highly enriched uranium for commercial purposes, Reuters stated.

The facility is home to five nuclear reactors. Two of the reactor buildings are being used to store nuclear material.