Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - June 8, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina
jtaaaaafiB Senate board hears
testimony on small modular reactors
Angela Key Collbran,
Henry “Hank" Christopher Caver Jr„
Columbia Jeanan W. Roux,
P. Harold Bateman,
Whitney Le An ne Revis,
Deaths and Funerals 16A
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By ANNA DOLIANITI8
Nuclear industry experts before the Senate Committee on i nergy and Natural Resources Tuesday provided input on three bills, one of which supports the development and licensing of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) like those being pursued at a future energy complex at the Savannah River Site.
In addition to the S-512 bill that would support development of SMRs, the committee also heard testimony on S-1067, which would require the Secretary of Anergy to carry out a research, development and demonstration program to reduce manufacturing and construction costs relating to nuclear reactors.
"The two nuclear bills before us today establish research programs to reduce the cost of construction using small reactors as well
as authorizing two cost-shared demonstrations to license before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,** said committee Chair Sen. Jeff Bingamari. "Small nuclear reactors, those that are less than 300 megawatts, hold the promise of reducing the costs of nuclear plant construction.” t
In late 2010, Sav annah River Nuclear Solutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding w uh two companies - GE Hitachi ami Hyperion Power Generation, Inc. - to br ing small modular reactors to SRS.
SMRs could significantly enhance the United States’ competitiveness, said Dr, John Kelly, the Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary for nuclear reactor technologies.
Kelly told the committee that SMR technology should initially be focused on light water reactors, and
Pita se tee SMR, page 16APublic Safety, USCA officers train for campus shooter
By KAREN DAILY
The ammunition used al USU Aiken Tuesday was blanks, and the shooter on campus was a sworn officer actmg the part of a crazed gunman, bin the possibility that the mock scenario could be real is not something local law enforcement officers take lightly.
Aiken Public Safety and USC Aiken Public Safety officers spent the afternoon Tuesday att the university training as if an active shooter was (Mi campus.
Lt. Phil Kesun, who super* vises Public Safety’s training, explained the importance of the drill.
"They don’t have the manpower (for a large-scale response) and we don’t know the campus, but together we have enough people with the right information,” Kestin said.
Each year, Aiken Public Safety trains to activ ate its incident command system (K'SyNational Incident Management System (NIMS).
Please see more photos of the training on page 16A,
During the training session, the gunman has a weapon and is shooting inside a building.
When he fired his rifle, the sounds of the blanks reverberated throughout the building, and the officers could be overheard on police radios giving instructions.
Since the shootings at Columbine High School in
1999 and Ow Sept. ll terrorist attacks, the training has become routine, Kestin said.
The training will continue at the university each Tuesday as part of the City of Aiken’s in-serv ice June training.
The first of toe training drills began this week.
PIMM Me TRAINING, page ISA
Staff photo by Karen Daily Officer Chris Walker and a number of other Aiken Public Safety and USC Aiken Public Safety officers search the university Tuesday for a shooter during a drill.
Vol. 145, No. 159
Citizens advisory board to give input on new Complex designs
*7 really like the stairs.
It reminders me of the courthouse - very classy. "
By HALEY HUGHES
Members of Aiken County Council expect to choose a design for the new office complex at their next meeting in two weeks.
Until tlicn, toe appointed citizens advisory committee will meet to view toe four new conceptual renderings presented Tuesday and forward its input to Council.
The new renderings incorporate feedback gathered (rom the committee and Council when architectural firm McMillan Pazdan Smith unveiled its first design schematics in May, mainly the desire for a "wow" effect, said firm principal Brad Smith.
In each new rendering, like toe first round, the exteriors are brick complemented by butT-colored masonry and possess a number of windows for natural light. The length of toe building in each is shown to be roughly the size of a football field.
Each design differentiates itself from the others with architectural features such as
stairs, a dome or w alls of glass.
The new renderings pro vide a basis for feedback, which architects will utilize in the final design process, and were not meant to lock in a design.
The majority of Council appeared to favor (>ption 4 with us cupola and clock tower and a ground entrance flanked on either side by a curs mg staircase leading to a second-story entrance.
"I really like the stairs. It reminders me of the courthouse - very classy.” said Councilwoman Kathy Rawls.
Options 4, 5 and 6 have cupolas, a feature which Council members said they find appealing, while Option 7 has a dome
Working from Councilman , (’huck Smith’s suggestion
that the complex extend more vertically, Options 5,6 and 7 have the building standing at tour stories. (Option 4 is three stones.
Each has essentially the same footprint, with the exception of Option 7, which shows the building thinning a bit into a ”T* shape, said architect K.J. Jacobs.
"I am intrigued by Option 7.1 like the smaller footprint myself,” Smith said.
When asked-how quickly County Administrator ( lay Killian could gather a meeting of the advisory committee, the answer was a few days.
Still, as Councilman Gary Bunker noted, the decision on the final design is "our call.”
In other business Tuesday. no oik* spoke during a publicWhat do you think?
► What do you think about the new renderings for the Aiken County office complex?
► Comment on this story at www aiken-standard.com, write to Opinions. Aiken Standard, Box 456, Aiken, S C 29802 or email editorial aikenstandard.com
hearing tm the proposed EY 2012 budget of $51.6 million.
The proposal represents an approximate $700,000 increase from last year’s budget, which reflects a small amount of natural growth, Killian said. But, it docs not include any major new programs or “much needed” improvements, nor a salary adjustment for County staff.
The budget holds toe current millage at 74 mills, Council will consider final reading June 21.
By ROB NOVIT
At a public hearing tm the Aiken County School District budget draft, more than a dozen county residents urged the School Board to withdraw its tentative plan to raise taxes for operations and facility needs.
Carolyn Buzzle said she’s tm a fixed income and is frustrated that teachers will get a raise.
"You act like only the teachers need more money, but we are all hurling.” she said. "The money can’t keep coming. You are asking us to be your bank and your ATM.”
But some speakers expressed their support for the board’s efforts on the budget - which would provide more funds tor major projects and facilities and in part prov ide instructional initiatives to help struggling students.
"Public education gets a bad rap,” said I )avis Berry. "We are all struggling, but we have to think about our responsibilities. A lot of people think only of taxes.
I hate taxes, but sometimes you have to have them This budget development is a well-put together product and deserves lite support of this group.”
Before the hearing, school district comptroller Tray fraxler reviewed the board’s proposal to this point. The
board would raise operating millage 3.8 mills to help fund such projects as an alternative school expansion and retaining reading interventionists. who were paid with stimulus funds.
The debt-serviee millage will go up nine mills - allow ing the district to increase funds for maintenance and major projects from $14.5 million a y ear to $17.5 million ovrr a period ‘of five years.
However, the SA . General Assembly is looking at adding some funds to toe per-pupil allocation, which could give the board members some options on the operating millage decision.
The budget will come up for final approval June 21.
People simply can’t afford the tax hikes, said I baline Giddings, a former candidate tor the school board.
The number of students on free and reduced lunch tees is now at $7 percent, an increase of 7 percent.
"That’s an indicator of the economy in this community,” said Giddings. "Housing values have dropped 33 percent, and people can’t sell their homes, yet you’re demanding more money."
Moses Minis no longer has children in the school system and he, too, is on a fixed income. But somebody funded public schools when ail the people at the board
Please see SCHOOL, page 16A
Full forecast 114C
Staff photo by Rob Novit A residents sits with sign reading "We Will Not Forget" during a public hearing on the Aiken County School District budget draft.Residents urge School Board: Don’t raise taxesYour Local Source Since 18(17=555555555 www.aik8nstandard.com 555555555