This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


Cold war tourism hotspot


By Hamish Johnston

Is it cold and rainy where you are?

Then why not pack your bags for Hanford, Washington, where the forecast calls for blazing sunshine and temperatures in the mid-30s (90s in old money) for the rest of the week.

While in town you could take a guided tour of the famous “B Reactor” at Hanford, where much of the plutonium for the Manhattan project was made. Some of this material ended up in the “Fat Boy” bomb that detonated over Nagasaki.

After fuelling many a cold-war weapon, Hanford B was shut-down in 1968 — but instead of being “entombed” like its neighbours, the reactor was designated a National Historic Landmark last year.

The plan is to turn the reactor into a museum and the Department of Energy is gearing up by offering occasional guided tours of the site — and the BBC’s Rajesh Mirchandani boarded the tour bus for what was a front line in the Cold War. You can watch his report here.

But don’t bring the kids — tourists must be at least 18 — and wear sensible shoes.

Hanford guide Michelle Gerber

Remaining tours for this year are on July 25, August 8, 15, 22, and 29
and September 5, 12, 19, and 26. Hanford’s online booking system says the tours are fully booked, but suggests you check back occasionally in case anyone has dropped out.

And if Hanford B is like most defunct reactors worldwide, it will be there for a very, very long time — so you’ll get your chance to see it eventually!

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Comments are closed.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text