Registration for tours of a Cold War hot spot is fast approaching.
Starting this spring, the U.S. Department of Energy will once again offer tours of the Hanford Site near Richland. Created in 1943, the reservation was the site of plutonium production for the United States' nuclear arsenal and is the location of B Reactor, the world's first full-scale plutonium production reactor.
Two different tours will be offered. The first will be driving tours of the entire site and the second will be tours that focus specifically on the historic B Reactor. Online registration for the sitewide tours will open at 12:01 a.m. on March 8.
Signup for the B Reactor tours will open at 12:01 a.m. on March 15.
Along with the online registration, people can also sign up for the B Reactor tours by calling 509-373-2774 or visiting B Reactor Tour Headquarters at the Tri-Cities Enterprise Center, 2000 Logston Blvd., in Richland.
People are encouraged to register as soon as possible. According to the Tri-City Herald, in 2010 all seats were gone within 12 hours, with reservations for more than 1,000 seats claimed in the first 15 minutes.
The sitewide tours will take about five hours and include a 75-minute stop at the B Reactor. A Hanford employee will go on each tour to provide history and information about the facilities and projects along the route.
Along with the B Reactor, stops will include the Cold Test Facility, the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility and environmental cleanup sites.
Sitewide tour participants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old. All tour slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis through the online registration system.
The B Reactor tour will allow visitors to spend two full hours at the reactor, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Participants must be at least 18 years old, but do not have to be U.S. citizens.
Each visit will use a 43-seat bus and provisions for special tour groups can be arranged by calling 509-373-2774.
All tours will begin and end at the enterprise center and both tours are free.
People are also encouraged to visit the Hanford tour website to learn about prohibited and restricted items, requirements for identification and appropriate clothing.
b reactor tours
Tours of the B Reactor site will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Saturday tours will begin at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tour dates will be:
April 5, 6, 19, 20 and 23; May 3, 4, 7, 17, 18, 21 and 31; June 1, 4, 14, 15, 18, 28 and 29; July 2, 12, 13, 16, 26, 27 and 30; Aug. 9, 10, 13, 23, 24 and 27; Sept. 6, 7, 10, 24, 27 and 28.
Hanford Site tours will begin at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on the following dates:
April 12, 13, 14 and 27; May 10, 11, 12, 24, 25 and 26; June 7, 8, 9, 21, 22 and 23; July 19, 20 and 21; Aug. 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 30 and 31; Sept. 1, 20, 21 and 22.
On the net