Hanford makes list of best places to visit

By the Tri-City HeraldDecember 13, 2012 

Seattle Met magazine has named the Hanford nuclear reservation, including its historic B Reactor, one of the best places to visit in the Northwest.

Visitors from across the nation sign up for bus tours each year from spring through fall. They can tour B Reactor or take a longer tour that includes B Reactor and a look at the environmental cleanup of Hanford.

Hanford produced plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons program during the Cold War and World War II.

"Heritage and eco-tourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry," said Kris Watkins, president of the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau, in a statement.

Attention from the west side of Washington is important to build recognition that the tours are worth taking, said Colleen French, Department of Energy government affairs program manager.

Congress is considering establishing a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that would include B Reactor and possibly other historic areas at Hanford.

In 2012, almost 10,000 people visited B Reactor or took the Hanford tour, according to DOE. Mission Support Alliance manages the public tour program for DOE.

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