THE MODERATOR – Winter 1997

Message from the President

Your B Reactor Museum Association is definitely on the move!

The last several weeks have seen a flurry of activity. Elsewhere in this newsletter you will see a writeup by Del Ballard about the tour he and several others took of C Reactor. DOE and Bechtel have indicated strong support for our goal of turning B Reactor into a world-class museum and Research Center. The Research Center idea is a new concept, but makes perfect sense. It is logical that the B Reactor house many artifacts and documents reflective of that time in our nation’s history.

On other fronts, several members have attended public meetings put on by DOE regarding plans for the Hanford Site in general, and the reactor areas specifically. I have sent several letters to people like John Wagoner; Tom Fitzsimmons, the Director of the State Department of Ecology; and Chuck Clarke, the Regional Administrator of the EPA. These communications all have the purpose of making the right people aware of our existence and goals.

Due to the extreme press of business the past six weeks, I have not been able to attend as many key events as I should have. The work of the Association has been carried on by some truly outstanding volunteers. Del Ballard, Madeline Brown, Lyle Wilhelmi, and Gene Weisskopf (the editor of this newsletter) are among the people who have put substantial time and effort into our cause. Even the letters I have sent have generally been ghostwritten by others.

My point is that there are many, many ways for all of us to get involved in this important program. As more and more governmental attention is focused on us, there will be increased demands on all our time.

If you are not now actively engaged, call any member of the Board and find out what you can do to help. We will be asked to take responsibility for conducting tours through B Reactor. Who will conduct those tours? Who will handle the logistics? Who will set them up? Who will arrange displays as we accumulate furniture and artifacts? Who will attend meetings and forums? The list goes on.

Again, there is a great deal to do, and our group is still fairly small. We need all the resources we can get. Please help


Jerry Woodcock
President, BRMA

BRMA Board Members

President Jerry: Woodcock
Vice President: Jim Stoffels
Secretary: Pam Novak
Treasurer: Roger Carpenter

Committee Chairs:

Fund Raising: (vacant)
Health, Safety, & Engineering: Del Ballard
History, Artifacts, & Exhibits: Lyle Wilhelmi
Membership: Joe Hedges
Public Relations: Jim Thornton
Editor: Gene Weisskopf

Planning for the Disposition of the Surplus Hanford Reactors

Del Ballard

An “Agreement in Principle” has been prepared and issued by the three members of the Hanford Tri-Party Agreement (the Depart ment of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington State Department of Ecology). That agreement deals with how the parties will proceed with the cleanup and final disposition of the old production reactors at Hanford.

In 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a “Record of Decision” that stated its preferred disposition of the eight reactors was to place them in a safe storage condition for a period of up to 75 years. After that, each reactor block would be moved in one piece to the 200 Areas for burial.

The Tri-Parties are now working to establish milestones, target dates, and language to define an effective disposition program for all of the nine surplus reactors.

The agreement recognizes that B Reactor “may follow a different pathway for final disposition”. Their negotiations on this program are to be completed by the end of March, 1997.

Initial work will be to place all of the reactors (including N Reactor) into an Interim Safe Storage (ISS) condition. A demonstration project is currently proceeding at the C Reactor to develop and test the methods and technologies that will be used on the remaining units.

The reactor block will be enclosed within a concrete shield wall and a new stainless steel roof. Much of the remaining area of the 105-C building will be demolished. Existing shield walls will be reused for the new enclosure where practical.

The BRMA is working to assure that this method of “safe storage” is not applied to the B Reactor. We believe that the entire structure and ambiance of the facility should be preserved to appear as it did during actual operation. Furthermore, current efforts should include maintenance work needed to assure long life and safe access to the facility.

BRMA Members Tour C Reactor

Del Ballard

Accepting an invitation given by Jerry McGuire, D & D Manager for Bechtel, five members of the B Reactor Museum Associa tion participated in a tour of the old Hanford C Reactor on January 28.

Reactor’s rear faceIn an effort to locate and identify tools and equipment that should be preserved for display in the B reactor Museum, Bechtel Hanford sponsored a walk-down of many of the “inner” areas of the 105-C building.

A group of a dozen interested individuals from Bechtel and BRMA were suited up in “whites” and inspected the reactor top, front and rear faces, fuel storage basins, tool and maintenance areas, and many of the near- reactor vaults, in search of useable artifacts. The reactor control room was inaccessible due to the fact workers were in the process of removing asbestos-bearing materials.

A project is currently underway to place C Reactor in what is called “Interim Safe Storage”. Outer areas of the building will be cleaned up and then demolished. The reactor block and front face work area will be enclosed in shielded structure that will include a new stainless steel roof.

Our hosts for the tour, to whom many thanks are given, included Greg Eidam, Lori Simanton, Bob Miller, Allen Palmquist, Paul Griffen, the radiation monitor Lory Tiffany, and others.