Hanford B Reactor tour signups set to open

Tickets have been so hot in the past you'd think they were radioactive (in a good way).

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Retired nuclear engineer Norm Miller talks about the history and engineering of Hanford Site's historic B Reactor during a tour in 2006. Behind him is the massive front face of the reactor where cooling water was guided into the core via hundreds of nozzles.

RICHLAND -- Registration for tours of Hanford Site's historic B Reactor will open at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday with sign up this year extended to children 12 and up.

This year, 104 tours of the site will be available. Tours will begin in April and run through September.

In a release, Matt McCormick, manager of the Department of Energy's Richland Operations Office, said allowing youngsters on the tour "is an important milestone for this community."

"The facility has safely hosted more than 25,000 visitors over the last three years and is carefully maintained for public access. It's time we expand its ability to connect with people on both Hanford's storied past and the importance of completing cleanup," he said.

Built in 13 months in 1943 and 1944 as part of the Manhattan Project, the B Reactor was the world's first full-scale, plutonium-production reactor. The facility has since been designated as a National Historic Landmark

Tours will begin at 8 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays. Each tour lasts approximately 41/2 hours. A portion of tour slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis through an online registration system.

Tour registrations are also available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 509-376-1647 or signing up at the B Reactor Tour Headquarters at 2000 Logston Blvd. in Richland.

The tours are free and cameras are welcome. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on the tour.

Sign up online

Tour signup page: www.hanford.gov/page.cfm/HanfordSiteTours/URLs

Tour dates

April 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 16, 17, 21(8 am only), and 30

May 1, 2, 5, 14, 15, 29, 30

June 2, 11, 12, 13, 16, 25, 26, 27

July 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, and 28

August 6, 7, 8, 11, 20, 21, 22, 25

Sept. 4, 5, 8, 17, 18, 19, 22

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