Building once housing Ford nuclear reactor controls demolished.

It's the end of an era at the Savannah River Site.

Fluor-led Savannah River Nuclear Solutions finished the demolition of a building that once contained the control system for rods housed in five nuclear reactor vessels during the Cold War.

The control systems were manufactured by the Ford Motor Co., giving the facility the name the "Ford Building," and played a critical role within the site's now dormant reactors, according to a news release.

"Ford was making more than cars in those days," Grady Friday, decontamination and decommission project lead for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, said in the release.

In past decades, employees at the Ford Building operated hundreds of control rods systems, which helped keep nuclear criticality stable on reactor vessels, he said. If an emergency occurred, the system allowed neutron-absorbing rods to drop in order to slow or stop the reactor.

The building could have been contaminated during its later use as a repair facility for devices that controlled temperatures within reactor vessels, Friday said.

So before the Ford Building met its fate as the 292nd deactivated and decommissioned building on the Savannah River Site, Friday said potential radioactive...

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