AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVIII , No. 2, Fall 2006

 

Manhattan Project Sites May Become Part of National Park System

In 2004, an act of Congress directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the national significance, suitability, and feasibility of designating one or more historic sites of the Manhattan Project for potential inclusion in the National Park System. In March 2005, a meeting on Capitol Hill, hosted by the Atomic Heritage Foundation, included representatives of the National Park Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institution, the Department of Energy, Congressional staffers, and representatives of some of the communities and local governments that might be involved. The Park Service subsequently appropriated funds for the study, which got underway in 2006.

Public meetings were held this past April in Oak Ridge, Tenn., site of the enormous uranium-enrichment plants that made the material for the Hiroshima bomb; in May in Dayton, Ohio, where the plutonium “initiator” was developed; and in June in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first atomic bombs were designed and assembled. Also under study are the sites in Hanford, Washington, where reactors produced the plutonium for the Trinity test device and Nagasaki bomb. The public comment period for this initial
stage is closed, and the study is now into Stage 2 (Develop Preliminary Alternatives). This will last until Spring 2007 and will “Identify a range of reasonable alternatives for NPS involvement, assess their effects, analyze public reactions, and select a preferred alternative.” For further information see www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/history/NPSweb/index.htm.

 


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