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Old Nuke Reactor To Delight New Visitors

Richland, Washington, has always been proud of its “Hanford Site,” a formerly top secret military area where most of America’s nuclear bomb plutonium was made. But there was never much for tourists to see, since much of Hanford is still radioactive and off-limits.

That changed on August 25, when Hanford’s B Reactor — which made the plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki –was named a National Historic Landmark.

An article in the Richland Tri-City Herald shows two delighted Dept. of the Interior appointees making the announcement.

While the other eight reactor buildings at Hanford are being “cocooned” — wrapped like mummies for 75 years until a future generation can figure out what to do with them — B Reactor will be open for tours at least three days a week beginning in March. The delay is reportedly not because of any lingering radiation, but because Hanford needs to install toilets for the expected tourists.

B Reactor will make a worthy addition to America’s Atom Bomb Trail, which already has attractions such as the Atomic Testing Museum and the Rio Blanco Atomic Explosion Site.

A second article in the Tri-City Herald notes that Richland’s excited local Visitors Bureau will be “working with tour operators to get bus tours to come through.”

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September 25, 2022

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