Big News for B Reactor
Despite new interpretive exhibits installed last Fall and a recent recommendation from a Department of the Interior committee to designate it a National Historic Landmark, Hanford’s B Reactor remained scheduled to be partially demolished, sealed and capped with a metal roof. In DOE’s jargon, it was slated to be “cocooned.”
The B Reactor’s fate was changed on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 when the Department of Energy announced that the reactor would be taken off their list of facilities to be “cocooned.” The facility will be preserved until a final decision is made about its future. Among other things, the Department is awaiting the National Park Service’s study on whether to recommend a Manhattan Project National Historic Park Site for the major Manhattan Project sites.
Public demand to visit the reactor has prompted the Department of Energy to offer 48 public tours to Hanford’s B Reactor this year, double the number in 2007. The season’s first two-thousand seats were made available at midnight on Monday, March 17, and by 6:00 PM, every seat was filled. There is no substitute for experiencing this icon of atomic history in person.