THE MODERATOR – Summer 2000
K > 1
From all outward appearances, one might think that B Reactor had a gala, ribbon-cutting, grand-opening ceremony, with speeches by dignitaries, a catered lunch under a huge white awning, and ambling crowds of enthralled guests. In fact, all of this actually did happen, except for that part about the ribbon-cutting.
Although a B Reactor Museum still doesn’t exist, a goodly percentage of the BRMA got to experience first-hand a dress rehearsal for the day when that ribbon is finally cut. I’m referring, of course, to the June 22 special event at B Reactor, when the DOE and Bechtel practically swept us off our feet with good will, sandwiches, certificates of appreciation, and a chance for about 80 of our members and their guests to see the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor. The bold letters on the invitations we received spelled it out quite clearly, as shown here. It was a special day for a special group of people for a special cause.
Best of all, I got to stand in front of a podium (with a microphone!) and tell the assembled crowd why I thought B Reactor and the BRMA were so important. With the reactor’s huge front face serving as my backdrop, I felt as though any words I uttered would carry the force that drives the universe. Hopefully the crowd felt somewhat the same.
I must thank Madeleine Brown for her role in shepherding the event through its formulation by Bechtel and the DOE. The whole event was just great—our members and guests got to see the reactor (and many had never seen it before, or not in the past 30+ years), we were thanked profusely for our efforts, we had a nice lunch, and I got to speak into a microphone.
After my time was up, Roger Rohrbacher took a few minutes to say a few words. Because he came to Hanford in 1944, listening to him reminded us that B Reactor isn’t just history. It’s a real place where real people worked and succeeded. Listening to Roger’s animated dialog about his early experiences here was also a reminder of why he’s such a proficient tour guide—he’s a charming raconteur and people love to hear him.
I need to backtrack. Before I and Roger each had our five minutes of glory at the podium, our group first received a very warm talk from Keith Klein, the Manager of DOE-RL. He had only good things to say about our efforts and the future of B Reactor. Keith is obviously a man who sees the rich possibilities of a B Reactor Museum, but he’s also a realist when it comes to schedules and funding.
While he never did say the magic words “I’m proud to be able to announce today…,” he left no doubt that things are percolating at DOE. Money will soon be available to perform much of the necessary safety and convenience work that will allow the building to be used by the general public. He also sounded encouraging about the signals coming from DOE headquarters.
Keith received a warm and rousing round of applause, and I think he enjoyed being able to emphasize something that would remain at Hanford long after the cleanup work is done.
After Klein’s pep talk, Mike Hughes, President of Bechtel-Hanford, took the podium. Bechtel is the contractor in charge of B Reactor, and so has much interaction with the BRMA.
Mike spoke glowingly of the BRMA and what we are trying to achieve. He knew all too well that one of the hurdles that faces us and our efforts is the sheer size and scope of the work going on at Hanford. In a sense, B Reactor almost gets lost within the rush and roar of all the other projects that must be completed.
One way Bechtel is going to help is by streamlining the organization that oversees B Reactor. All work will now be done under the auspices of the Bechtel S & M team (surveillance and maintenance). The idea is to ensure that all the decisions affecting the reactor are made in the same group so they are considered by the same people. In other words, it will be easier for the “buck to stop here” in terms of responsibility. We hope that this adjustment does provide more streamlined and efficient oversight of B Reactor.
In a much more direct statement, Mike surprised the assembled group by pulling out a check for $1,000, made out to the BRMA. He said it was Bechtel’s token of appreciation for all our efforts, as well as additional fuel so the BRMA can do still more.
Not only that, but he went on to say that many individuals within the BRMA have done much to make the group a success, and he had a dozen plaques at hand to recognize those people.
In fact, the plaques were specifically for those members who have served as tour guides at B Reactor in the past few years. Bechtel has been one of the frequent beneficiaries of our “tour guide service”, and they wanted to express their thanks.
Tour Coordinator Roger Rohrbacher and I did some homework a week before the event and came up with the fact that, since the beginning of 1999, 51 BRMA tour guides spent 178 hours and drove 1615 miles to host 19 tours for 426 guests. Those receiving plaques were:
Del Ballard, Tom Clement, Larry Denton, Joe Hedges, Bill McCue, Dee McCullough, Miles Patrick, John Rector, Roger Rohrbacher, Jerry Saucier, Bob Smith, Paul Vinther, Gene Weisskopf, Lyle Wilhelmi, and Kelly Woods
Congratulations to them all. It was a pleasant reminder that other people care about what we do. Did I mention lunch? The group moved to the outdoors, where a huge canopy had been set up, with an equally huge buffet table under it, along with 40 or 50 chairs. While the food began to disappear, several of us stayed and talked with a few reporters and TV news gatherers. The Tri-City herald ran a well-informed article the next morning, and the Seattle Times had a short Associated Press article, as well. Several local TV stations ran a piece about B Reactor, and some of them even got it right (no, it’s not named B Plant, and we’re called the B Reactor Museum Association).
From my perspective, the entire day was a crowning event for the BRMA. It was enjoyable, uplifting, and seemed to hold great potential for the future of our efforts at B Reactor.
There’s one more promising signal of things to come that I’d like to mention, and that is the new Hanford Reach National Monument (of recent flammable fame). Although the BRMA never really discussed the pros and cons of how monument status might affect B Reactor, it’s my not-so-humble opinion that it bodes great things.
At the heart of the monument lands is a strip that follows the Columbia River along the Hanford Reach, and the 105-B Reactor building is just a few hundred yards from this monument boundary. It would take a relatively small amount of work (and perhaps another Presidential proclamation) to include B Reactor in the monument lands.
For example, opening the road that runs east from the Vernita Bridge rest stop on Highway 240 to B Reactor would create the perfect corridor for recreation along the river. It would provide access to a B Reactor Museum without having to route traffic through the rest of the Hanford Site. With the reactor so close to the river, this would also give hikers and boaters a chance to learn about Hanford’s atomic history. Just having the word “monument” so closely associated with B Reactor rings of good things to come.
Our June 22nd event at B Reactor and the new Hanford Reach Monument are just two of the many things that have been happening in the past few months. Even if there’s no ribbon to cut, we have been very busy and see much progress (there’s a chronology later in this newsletter). Through all of our efforts, the world may yet learn the many roles that B Reactor has played in history. Best wishes and thanks to every one of us.
BRMA Board Members – 2000
- President: Gene Weisskopf
- Vice President: Jim Stoffels
- Secretary: Madeleine Brown
- Treasurer: Joe Hedges
- Health, Safety, & Engineering: Del Ballard
- History, Artifacts, & Exhibits: Lyle Wilhelmi
- Membership: Joe Hedges
- Public Relations: Jim Thornton
- Editor: Gene Weisskopf
Sunday, August 13, 2000 4:30pm
Join us for a special meeting at the Atomic Ale Brewpub and Eatery in downtown Richland. Good food, great hand-crafted beer, fabulous desserts, and a family friendly restaurant that will be opened just for the BRMA on Sunday the 13th.
Although it’s still too early to announce, we’re expecting to host a special guest who’s coming all the way from New Jersey. For this wheeler-dealer, we’ll be sure to fix up a nice hot cup of xenon with a fresh black doughnut hole.
Please RSVP As always, we would appreciate your RSVP to Gene Weisskopf anytime before August 10. E-mail is easiest, just send your name and how many you expect to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can telephone Gene at 509-946-1316. If the answering machine picks up, leave you name, phone number, and how many you expect to attend on the 13th. See you at Atomic Ale on August 13.
Thinking of You, Bill McCue
Due to an illness and stay in the hospital, longtime BRMA member Bill McCue has taken leave from his frequent role as B Reactor tour guide. Bill has a reputation for keeping visitors enthralled as he tells his stories in the reactor control room, where he served as a supervisor during startup in September 1944.
Bill’s enthusiasm for the BRMA and his willingness to volunteer his time and energy are great assets to us all, and much appreciated.
It’s the morning of July 4. As the Piccolo Pete’s are revving up outside, the newsletter is winding down inside. So much has happened during the past three months that we really need a double-issue of The Moderator, but hope this will suffice.
Due to travel requirements, the job of mailing both this issue (and the previous one) will be (was) handed over to Lyle Wilhelmi and Madeleine Brown, and Carol Roberts if she’s available for this issue. Many thanks to them for their willingness to help out, and for the look of sheer joy on their faces when they learned they get to insert, fold, label, stamp, and tape 100-odd newsletters. And a big thank you to my better 2/3, Carol, for reading over the newsletter before I called it finished.
Remember, this is your newsletter, too. If you have an idea for an article you’d like to write or a feature you’d like to maintain, contact the editor. Everyone in the BRMA will appreciate your efforts.
What’s Been Going On Since April 1
4/13 – Tour of B Reactor planned for the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, T.J. Glauthier. When BRMA tour guides Roger Rohrbacher, Larry Denton, and Gene Weisskopf arrive at the Wye Barricade, they learn the tour was canceled and have to turn around and head home. Sometimes we’re the last to know.
4/14 – Lyle Wilhelmi and Gene meet Connie Estep from CREHST at the 400 Area storage warehouse to mark furniture to keep for a B Reactor museum, including wooden desks, bookcases, chairs. Then to the warehouse at Energy Northwest to pick up some older slide projectors, overhead projector, display board, and a few other things
4/17 – Mailed a tax extension request to the I.R.S; it was approved to August 15, 2000.
4/18 – Del Ballard, Lyle, and Gene meet to go over our Phase II study, 60% draft comments. Gene writes them up, about 6 pages in all, and sends off to Bechtel.
4/19 – Tour of B Reactor for Deputy Secretary of the DOE T.J. Glauthier and company that includes Keith Klein. BRMA tour guides Roger Rohrbacher and Larry Denton, and BRMA President Gene Weisskopf serve as hosts. The tour is fairly short, as Glauthier’s schedule for the day was three pages long with dozens of stops.
Larry and Roger do plenty of talking, and T.J. asks lots of questions and seems quite interested. Larry does a great job of explaining the xenon problem when the reactor was first started. Roger explains the reactor safety systems and supplies a number of entertaining tales. Gene maintains a certain, regal quiescence for most of the tour, but does manage to stammer when Glauthier asks how long it took to make plutonium in the reactor. “Well, um, let’s see, they estimated it took about 1,000 KW of energy (heat) from fission to make 1 g of plutonium, so if the reactor is operating at 250 MW, then, um, that’s 250,000 KW, so that must be about 250 g per day, but that’s throughout the entire reactor, and the center was much “hotter” so, um,…” Regal always works best.
At the end of the tour, we give the entourage copies of our newsletter, bags of note cards, B Reactor refrigerator magnets, our “Prelude to the Atomic Age” booklets, and membership applications.
4/21 – Phase II study, 60% review meeting at MACTEC in Richland. Del, Lyle, and Gene bring the BRMA’s comments for discussion. One stunning outcome was that we learn that Bechtel had been getting ready to do roof repairs or put a new roof on the 105-B building, and would first tear off the ventilation ducts that sit prominently on the roof. They are in questionable condition, but were also an integral part of the building’s design that also define its profile.
4/22 – Earth Day in Richland at Howard Amon park. Plenty of volunteer staff for the booth, including Del, Lyle, Gene, Roger R., Darwin Lambier, Gary Fetterolf, and Bob Smith.
Lyle had purchased a 10′ x 10′ canopy and built a frame to hold our BRMA banner (sign). He set up, tested, and reinforced the tent ahead of time, so we are all ready to go by 9:00 in the morning. Lyle also brought several pounds of assorted “penny” candy to give away.
Gene put together a passel of stuff for the booth, including B Reactor buttons, BRMA application forms, pre-printed buttons (shown here) with a space for a person to write in their own name, and “Prelude to the Atomic Age” booklets with a sign asking for a suggested donation of $2.
Gene also made posters on white foam core that told a bit of the story of B Reactor and why the BRMA is working to have it made into a museum. He stayed up until 3:00 in the morning laying out, gluing pictures, and writing, printing, and pasting the text and photos.
So why was the BRMA at Earth Day? When atomic energy was first discovered, it seemed like the perfect solution for energy production. It required virtually no mining compared to coal and oil, would produce no smog or carbon dioxide, and was virtually limitless in its potential, making it the perfect Earth Day energy source.
Another reason is supplied by a 10-year old (give or take) boy, who wanders into the booth looking somewhat shy. Gene makes him a button and asks if he knew about B Reactor? No. Well, it’s on the Hanford Site. Didn’t know much about Hanford. Well, you know about atomic bombs, right? No. Hmm, so where to start? A strong reminder of why there needs to be a B Reactor Museum.
A very pleasant day with a healthy number of visitors to the booth. We give out about 50 of the giveaway buttons, and take in $25 in B Reactor button and booklet sales, and one new membership.
4/24 – We send a letter to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) re the question of the ductwork removal at B Reactor, with copies to the Hanford Advisory Board, the EPA, Dee Lloyd (DOE), and Tom Marceau (Bechtel). The BRMA was so far removed from this important issue that we feel like we are neglecting our job. And what’s next, the 200-foot tall ventilation stack?
4/25 – Gene talks with Tom Marceau about our ductwork letter. Tom explains that the job was never done because questions of historic importance were brought up by him and Dee Lloyd. The project came in front of him in November 1999, and he asked that it be reviewed in front of him along with the BRMA (a letter we never received or that we did receive but….). The project never did get as far as SHPO review. So our letter to SHPO was off the mark.
4/26 – Gene sends Beth Bilson (DOE) an e-mail asking if we could get a complete list of how money is planned to be spent at B. This would let us see what’s coming along, so we can get an early understanding of projects like the ductwork removal. Beth thought that the information could be made available to us.
4/27Hallelujah, the water is turned back on to the bathrooms at B Reactor! We suspect that our letters and rants were finally addressed. Gene hosts a tour at the reactor (a retirees luncheon left him the only tour guide). When the tour bus arrives, their host Michele Gerber gets out of the bus first and immediately asks “We’ve got a bunch of people on the bus who want to know where’s the bathroom!!?” Hah, no more visits to the sagebrush! The world’s first nuclear reactor once again has indoor plumbing. We tend to call that “world class” in these parts.
5/1 – Lyle and Gene go to a meeting at DOE with Dee Lloyd et al, to discuss ongoing B Reactor-related issues, including budget, ventilation duct removal, America’s Treasures grant application, the Engineering Evaluation Cost Analysis (EECA) and the record of action that will follow.
5/4 – Tour of B Reactor with BRMA guides Roger R., Tom Clement, and Larry Denton.
5/4 – Continue the meeting from 5/1 with Del, Gene, and Lyle. Still more discussion about roof ducts and related issues of importance; a design plan for B Reactor will be needed when requesting funding, as well as for EECA. Tom Marceau confirms that the railroad tracks to the building that had been removed during site cleanup will be put back in place once the cleanup work is done.
5/5 – Del, Gene, Lyle, and Madeleine meet to discuss B Reactor issues and BRMA bylaws.
5/7 – BRMA meeting at Atomic Ale. Two-thirds of the Tri-Party in attendance (Keith Klein from the DOE, and Doug Sherwood from the EPA.
5/12 – Gene faxes a letter to Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt regarding Babbitt’s upcoming fact-finding trip to Hanford about the Hanford Reach national monument issue. The letter tells him of another important landmark, etc, and invites him to ask DOE for a tour, for which we’d provide tour guides.
5/15 – Gene receives a call from Secretary Babbitt’s office, apologizing that no B Reactor tour would be possible due to extreme time constraints. But we are encouraged to attend the 6:00 public meeting on Tuesday the 16th.
5/15 – A wildfire at Los Alamos destroys several Manhattan District-era buildings where work on the atomic bomb took place. These buildings had recently been awarded the 1999 Save America’s Treasures Grant, which had this to say about them: “The site has great integrity of original design, and the temporary wooden structures convey a sense of urgency of the Manhattan Project through the expedient construction methods used for these buildings. Abandoned in the mid-1950s, the modest wooden buildings are in extremely poor condition and at risk of collapse. Funds will be used to restore the complex, which will enable never-before public access and interpretation of the Manhattan project.” (Gene wonders if it’s too early to ask that the grant money be shifted to 105-B.)
5/16 – Secretary Bruce Babbitt holds a public meeting to hear opinions about the proposed Hanford Reach National Monument. Several BRMA members are on hand. Gene spoke about the importance of B Reactor, etc. Secretary Babbitt seems quite enthused about the topic, and his response is actually longer than Weisskopf’s not-all-too-brief comments and question.
5/24 – Tour of B Reactor with Roger and Gene Weisskopf serving as tour guides.
5/30 – Walk-through of H Reactor includes Joe Hedges and Gene, with Dee Lloyd and Tom Marceau, looking for any essential artifacts that could be used in a B Reactor Museum. Sadly, the theme of the day is “We can’t preserve everything. Pick out what would be important to have at B Reactor, but the rest we’ll have to live without.”
5/30 – Del, Gene, and Lyle meet to compile comments on the 90% draft of the Phase II study.
6/1 – Gene faxes a letter to Secretary Babbitt regarding the pending monument question, and sends a press release to the Tri-City Herald suggesting that “monument” and “B Reactor” could be a very good match.
6/1 – Gene compiles and then e-mails our BRMA comments on the Phase II study 90% draft.
6/12 – Phase II study, 90% review meeting, attended by Lyle.
6/12 – Tour of B Reactor with Larry, Dee McCullough, and Gene. Afterwards, a great lunch at Spudnut.
6/13 – Tour of B Reactor with Roger Rohrbacher and Gene.
6/13 – Jim Stoffels and Lyle meet at CREHST to discuss BRMA’s getting involved with CREHST’s ongoing education program.
6/17 – Tour of B Reactor for the DOE public tours. Joe Hedges, Roger, and Del take the morning tour, while Tom Clement, John Rector, and Gene take the afternoon tour.
6/19 – Jim Stoffels, Gene, and Lyle meet with Dee Lloyd, Tom Ferns, Tom Marceau, and Dru Butler re “planning a B Reactor museum”. The goal is to gather enough ideas and issues to formulate a rough first draft of a museum plan.
Tom Ferns has taken over DOE responsibility for B Reactor from Chris Smith, because B Reactor is being moved from D & D to S & M (surveillance & maintenance). Bechtel is trying to arrange the same sort of reorganization, to recognize that B is not being torn down, etc.
6/19 – Gene picks up Dee McCullough to get dosimeters for the next day’s trip.
6/19 – Trinket-making party with Carol Roberts, Gene, Lyle, and Madeleine. Make up 100 “I toured B Reactor on 6/22/00” buttons, 75 “Prelude to the Atomic Age” booklets, and 50 note cards and envelopes. Gene had already made up two dozen BRMA Vision statements to give to the press at our B Reactor event on the 22nd.
6/20 – Gene and Dee McCullough take a walk-through of D Reactor with Tom Marceau, David Harvey, Dee Lloyd, Connie Estep, and Michelle Skinner. Once again, the theme of the day is “We can’t save everything.” Also stopped at 190-DR, which is serving as a warehouse. Lots of old plastic models, mostly of N Reactor. Also, 28 large crates that hold the model for the first vitrification plant design by Fluor some years back. Also saw a dozen or so barrels of unused boron balls from N Reactor. Keep it!
6/22 – Our big event at B Reactor for about 80 BRMA members and guests. Sponsored and hosted by the DOE and Bechtel, with Keith Klein and Mike Hughes saying many wonderful things about the decade-long efforts of the BRMA. Afterwards, Gene, Roger, and Larry serve as tour guides and hosts for a busload of Fluor employees who were able to piggyback onto the reactor opening.
6/25 – Gene sends thank-you notes to the people who helped make the June 22 event possible, and drops off or mails the certificates of appreciation to those who weren’t at the event.
6/26 – Gene writes up his notes from the June 19 B Reactor planning session and sends them off to those who attended.
6/28 – Gene speaks to the Atomic City Kiwanis during their lunch-hour meeting. A nice introduction from Paul Vinther and a receptive audience. Hopefully, Gene’s enthusiasm was infectious.
Proposed Amendments to the BRMA Bylaws
The need to update our bylaws emerged uncomfortably at elections last fall. No, it was not the outcome that pained us, it was the process. And since we are fixing up the elections part, we realized we might as well do some other cleanups. The bylaw amendment process is cumbersome, so listen up.
This newsletter article serves as the “Notice of the meeting considering the amendment,” which is to be mailed to voters before the meeting when the changes will be voted upon. That meeting will be our August monthly meeting. Changes on which we’ll vote, and we can discuss in our July meeting, are as follows. You can find our bylaws on our Web site at http://www.owt.com/brma/bylaws.htm. The proposed changes are:
Article II, Purpose and Goals – Delete final bullet, “Promote a 50-year anniversary commemoration of Hanford’s B Reactor and its historical and technological significance.”
Article III, Membership, Section 1, Membership Classes – Delete third sentence, “Those requesting membership shall be approved at a regular meeting by a two-thirds majority of those members voting.”
Section 2, Dismissal of Members – In the second sentence, replace “the board of directors” with “the Executive Board.” Delete first bullet, “Being more than three months in arrears in Association dues.” Insert sentence after list of bullets as follows: “If a member is more than three months in arrears in Association dues, the Membership chair may dismiss the member without vote or registered letter.”
Article V, Officers – Delete “general” in first sentence. Replace second and third sentences as follows: “These officers shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Executive Board shall consist of the Association’s officers, plus the Past President and the chairpersons of the standing committees.”
Section 7, Removal from Office – Insert the word “voting” in last sentence, after “A two-thirds majority of all.”
Article VI, Elections – Delete and replace first paragraph as follows: “In the November membership meeting, the chairperson of the nominating committee shall present the recommendations of the committee. The nominating committee shall consist of at least two members in good standing. The officers shall be elected by a popular vote at the December general meeting. Each member in good standing shall have one vote.
In the second paragraph, replace “November” with “December.”
Article VIII, Amendments to the Bylaws – Revise Paragraph 3 to replace “one month” with “six weeks.”
Replace Paragraph 4 so that it reads “A two-thirds majority of those members voting shall be required for the amendment to be accepted.”
Phase II Study Nears Completion
The study that will spell out the repairs and upgrades that are needed at B Reactor will soon be completed. This is the Phase II report that was first specified in the Phase I report in 1995. In between the two, the Hazards Survey listed all the various problems that could impinge on public safety in the 105-B building.
The Phase II report will define the work that needs to be done to mitigate the hazards and bring the building into compliance with the relevant building codes. We are very glad to see the report being completed this year, as it is an essential part of the long, winding path to a B Reactor Museum.
But it’s important to understand a few aspects of the Phase II report so that expectations are not inflated too high. First, the study does not come up with fixes for all areas of the building. Instead, it looks mainly at the so-called “current tour route”, meaning the main entry hall, the work area at the front face of the reactor, and the control room. The fan room, valve pit, fuel storage basin, and other levels of the building are not part of this package.
This limitation could pose problems in the years ahead. For example, when the appropriate time comes to include other areas of the reactor in the museum tour route, will they need their own version of a Phase II study before they can be turned over for public access?
Second, it should be understood that this study is not going to create a museum, but simply define what needs to be done to make an industrial building safe for public access. This includes dealing with lead-based paint, asbestos, and radioactivity, while making walkways and fire exits safe for the general public, including the handicapped.
Third, the report is not written with the white-gloved architectural historian in mind. While it attempts to keep the historic nature of the building in view at all times, it is primarily an engineering document and not a guide to renovation.
Many of the upgrades that will be specified in the report should be easy to implement without jeopardizing the look of the building. Other upgrades, however, ring the alarm, with the ventilation ducts on the roof being the perfect example.
From an engineering perspective, it’s much easier, safer, and less expensive to put a new roof on the building if those huge, rusty ventilation ducts are first torn off. This would eliminate dozens of metal supports that must penetrate the roofing and be flashed and sealed against leakage. Not only that, but the rusty ducts and supports might pose a hazard in a high wind to people on the ground.
So what do you do? It seems that you should first analyze the condition of the ducts, which has not been done for the Phase II study.
Then, experienced people should review the situation and come up with various courses of action. They would have to consider the danger the ducts impose and the structural problems they introduce on the building, and then weigh that against their historical significance. Are they original equipment? Did they play an important part in the way the building worked? Would their removal drastically affect the appearance of the building?
If you need another example, apply those issues to the 200-foot tall ventilation stack at B Reactor or, retroactively, to the two high tanks, the water towers that are already gone.
In spite of these issues, the Phase II study will fulfill its role as the engineering design document for making B Reactor into a publicly accessible building, and we applaud the DOE and Bechtel for completing it this year.
Remembering Don Sandberg
Vice President, BRMA
Don Sandberg, who served during 1991-1992 as the second president of the BRMA, died April 4 at the age of 53, following a courageous battle with cancer. Don was a principal scientist at Hanford for 32 years, a competitive athlete, and an avid car enthusiast.
It was during those early years of BRMA, when we were struggling to find ways and means to achieve our ultimate goal of a B Reactor museum, that Don’s outstanding leadership qualities and expertise in strategic planning established directions that are now yielding results.
With Don’s interest in railroads, he was instrumental in the forward-looking concept of tying the Hanford Rail System into the preservation of B Reactor. This would allow tours to the reactor by rail, an objective that is still part of BRMA’s vision.
Don’s always friendly, outgoing, and upbeat personality was a gift not only to our organization, but also to each of us who knew him personally.
With deep respect, we share the sadness of his family at the untimely loss of Don. BRMA has made a contribution to the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice in his memory.
There’s an interesting twist in our list of new members this time, because three are from out of state. That seems a bit surprising, but less so when you consider that there’s only one place on the entire planet where one can find the very first use of nuclear energy. And that’s here at Hanford’s historic B Reactor.
So “Welcome” to our new members. We thank you for joining our ranks and adding even more “oomph” to our momentum.
Norman Dyer Beaverton, OR
Michael Hughes Richland
Harley Hylbak Richland
Tom Kelly Orange, TX
David Smith McLean, VA