Lost in the Telling: The
DuPont Company, The Forgotten Producers of Plutonium [PDF file, 1 MB]
This new (2016) document expands the Hanford story with information about the contribution
of the DuPont Company, the builder and operator of the Hanford Atomic Works during World
War II. Much of the information has previously been lost in the telling of the Manhattan
UNI-2000, Replacement N Reactor project
A secret project in 1980-81 planned for a new graphite reactor within a containment dome.
Atomic Fortress That Time Forgot," IEEE Spectrum, April 2005 [PDF file, 6.1 MB]
Eight-page feature article with photographs from the IEEE monthly magazine.
"B Reactor: A Nuclear
Icon," Washington State Magazine, Spring 2005 [PDF
file, 627 KB]
History," B Reactor 60th anniversary address by Richard Rhodes
Timeline of significant 1945
events in World War II
1943 Memorandum for the
construction of Hanford
A fascinating and highly readable historical document, this Memorandum between the
United States government and the du Pont company describes the scope of work involved in
constructing the entire Hanford Engineer Works (referred to as the "Plant"),
consisting of three plutonium production reactors (piles), a uranium fuel manufacturing
factory, and two huge chemical reprocessing plants to recover the plutonium.
Written in September 1943, about nine months after du Pont and the government signed an
informal letter-of-agreement that initiated work on Hanford, the Memorandum tells how
extremely reluctant du Pont was to take on the massive and highly speculative project. It
describes the technical aspects of the nuclear transmutation process for changing uranium
into plutonium and points out the various ways in which the entire venture could fail. It
foretells in chilling detail the possibility of a catastrophic accident like that which
occurred 43 years later at Chernobyl.
History of 100-B Area
WHC-EP-0273 [PDF format]
This 62-page document, written in 1989 by Ralph Wahlen, describes B Reactor and support
facilities, including the water plant and electrical plant, startup and operation, and
fuel charging and discharging. Includes diagrams and photographs.
100-B/C Reactor Operations, Hanford Site WHC-SD-EN-RPT-004
This extensive report was written in 1993 by Michele S. Gerber, Ph.D., of the
Westinghouse Hanford Company. It describes in great detail the operations of the B and C
reactors at the Hanford site. It is more technical than the HAER document, being intended
for onsite use, but it nonetheless has plenty of interesting material for the lay reader.
Reactor Historic American Engineering Record DOE/RL-2001-16
This 191-page document is the official record of B Reactor construction and operation.
It is kept in the archives of the Library of Congress.
Oral History Videos Index
B Reactor Museum Association has an ongoing project to preserve the oral history of
Hanford, especially B Reactor, through videotaped interviews with Hanford oldtimers. This
index lists videotaped interviews that have been completed. We are in the process of
transferring the interviews from magnetic tape to DVD for archival purposes.
Introduction to a 624-page, softcover book published in June 2003 that tells the entire
history of Hanford during the years of construction and operation for plutonium
production. Detailed information on the contents is available from the publisher, Battelle
Press. The book is available from commercial booksellers. ISBN 1-57477-133-7
Much history of the Hanford Nuclear Site has been compiled by the Department of Energy
and is available on-line.
Links of Related Interest
- The Hanford Nuclear Site is run by the Richland
Operations Office (DOE-RL) of the U.S. Department of
Energy and is the home of the B Reactor. Hanford was Site W during the Manhattan
Project and created plutonium for the Trinity test and the Nagasaki atomic bomb. Provides
current information about clean up activities on the 560-square-mile Hanford Site as well
as historical documents and photographs.
- Hanford News is an online resource of the
Tri-City Herald, with current news and archive of Hanford, Department of Energy and
nuclear-related articles and information. Includes Hanford history, photos, documents and
- Nuclear Files has a wealth of information on
nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, missile defense, and weapons in space. Each topic has
sections on basics, history, and issues. The history section on nuclear weapons contains
primary source documents of the Manhattan
Project , including Einstein's letter to Roosevelt, letters of J. R. Oppenheimer and
Gen. Leslie Groves, the Roosevelt-Churchill "tube alloys" deal, and eyewitness
accounts of the "Trinity" test by Fermi and others.
- The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation
Association provides a comprehensive source of factual information. The organization
is committed to providing a thoroughly documented historical research site for the
individual desiring to gain a complete understanding of America's atomic bomb effort
during World War II. The information is catalogued and presented in a variety of ways,
including high quality digitized photos, digitized images of original documents and
newspaper articles, and stories and reminiscences of Manhattan Project veterans. Contains
the largest collection of photos (700), documents (110), scientist biographies (115), and
newspaper articles (34) on the Internet and gives concise definitions of many little-known
operations and terms.
- The Atomic Heritage Foundation, Washington
DC, is dedicated to preserving the history of the Manhattan Project. It is working to
raise Congressional and other support for preserving major historic facilities and other
aspects of the history for public education, interpretation, and commemoration. The
Foundation is working with BRMA and other organizations on a Manhattan Project 60th
Anniversary commemoration. The nonprofit corporation invites individual tax-deductible
contributions to assist in these endeavors.
- "Fifty Years from Trinity"
is The Seattle Times Web edition of a special supplement that was printed on July
16, 1995. Includes supplementary material, interactive activities, and
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory is another Department of
Energy site in Tennessee. Oak Ridge was the Manhattan Project's Site X and separated
uranium 235 from natural uranium for the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
- Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, is also
under the Department of Energy. Los Alamos was the Manhattan Project's Site Y, and is
where the first atomic bombs were designed and built. Includes a link to the Bradbury
- The Trinity Atomic Web Site tells the story of
nuclear weapons through historical documents, photos, and videos. Includes criticality
accidents, nuclear test photos, nuclear weapon physics and effects, Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, and more.
- The Nuclear Weapon Archive contains an
interesting and broad assortment of nuclear weapons documents and links.
Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1939-1957" on the CIA Web site, is an
exhibit of the National Cryptologic Museum, Ft. Meade, Maryland. It consist of thousands
of decoded and declassified messages that reveal details about Soviet espionage against
the U.S. atomic bomb program in the 1940s and '50s. The first nuclear reactors built in
the Soviet Union bore a remarkable resemblance to those that already existed at Hanford.
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