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August 4, 1989

Savannah River Parkway

Author Affiliations

Augusta, Ga

Augusta, Ga

JAMA. 1989;262(5):686. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430050102036

Officially it's called the Savannah River Plant, or SRP. Many call it the bomb factory. It is located 15 miles east of Augusta, Ga, where I live and work. Most people know little of what occurs there every day, despite the fact that SRP is responsible for the manufacture of virtually all the nuclear weapons materials in our country. Covering more than 600 square miles of land, the facility is tremendous.

I drive through SRP occasionally, usually on my way to the beach. Highway 125 takes you through the heart of the complex for 20 miles. The early sun beams brightly through the windshield, promising a day of the childhood frolicking, corebody warming, and spiritual nourishment that occur only with ocean sounds. Yet, for 20 minutes, silent nuclear sounds eclipse the sun, waiting for an exit reprieve. The signs, buildings, roads, and security personnel offer small reality reminders, standing in