History

new.gif (2364 bytes) DECLASSIFIED: UNI-2000, Replacement N Reactor project
        A secret project in 1980-81 planned for a new graphite reactor within a containment dome.

"The 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]

"Hanford and 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A fascinating and highly readable historical document, this Memorandum between the United States government and the du Pont company describes the scope of work involved in constructing the entire Hanford Engineer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.

History of 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.

B 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.

History of the Plutonium Production Facilities at the Hanford Site Historic District, 1943-1990

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

Hanford Cultural and Historic Resources

Much history of the Hanford Nuclear Site has been compiled by the Department of Energy and is available on-line.


Links of Related Interest