Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hanford: Unveiling its History and Mystery

Wind-swept Hanford
J. Smith, photo (c) 2010
I grew up just a hundred miles or so up the road from the wind-swept Columbia River Plateau; home to the secretive -- and for a kid back then -- scary place called Hanford.  I knew they made something to do with bombs there, I mean the high school in Richland, the town nearest this once-hush-hush place, is known as Home of the Bombers

Hanford's impact on nuclear history is now well documented.  Today it is an enormous hazardous  nuclear waste site.  The good news is that the Department of Energy, that agency managing, the site has a number of gargantuan cleanup projects underway.  The even better news is that they've been offering FREE public tours of the place since 2004. 

Control Room - B Reactor - Hanford Tour
j. smith photo, (c) 2010
Last fall I took one of those tours and was blown away - absolutely, blown away  -- by it. We traveled from those mysterious World War II years into the future in a matter of hours.

I wrote about the Hanford Tour and my article appears in today's Seattle Times.  Click the link to read it, then make a note to yourself to try and nab a spot on one of this year's tours. You won't regret it; and I can assure you, you'lll never forget it.

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