U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden plans his first fact-finding visit to Hanford on Tuesday since taking over as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
As chairman, he'll play a key role in legislation to create a Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which would include Hanford's historic B Reactor. The Oregon Democrat supports formation of the park, said his spokesman, Tom Towslee.
In addition to touring B Reactor, Wyden also will see the tank farms -- where 56 million gallons of radioactive waste are stored in underground tanks -- and the vitrification plant being built to treat the waste for disposal.
As the new committee chairman, Wyden wants it understood that Hanford environmental cleanup is a priority, Towslee said.
In addition, Wyden wants to make clear that he's been to Hanford recently when he talks about Hanford with whomever is nominated as the next energy secretary, Towslee said.