Hanford B Reactor
Department Of Energy Hanford Site
2000 Logston Blvd off Hwy 240
In 1943, the US Army acquired 600 square miles of land north of Richland and established Hanford Engineer Works, part of the top-secret Manhattan Project, the effort to design and build the first atomic bomb. Hanford's B Reactor was the world's first full scale nuclear plant, and produced the plutonium used for the world's first atomic explosion at Alamogordo, New Mexico, in July 1945, and for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan a few weeks later.
During the COld War, Hanford's operations were expanded to include nine reactors. Additional facilities produced the plutonium used for most of the country's 60,000 nuclear weapons.The B Reactor was operational until 1968. In the years since, there has been an ongoing effort to clean up and dispose of the radioative waste produced at Hanford.
The Department of Energy offers limited tours of the Hanford site.
Hanford B Reactor (M08A0450)
Hanford B Reactor is visible from Highway 24 east of its Columbia River Crossing.
Hanford Nuclear Reservation (T13A0026)
While you're in the area, check out these sights:
- Hanford Reach National Monument, Richland, Washington
- Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Vantage, Washington
- Around Town, George, Washington