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The Hanford Nuclear Site

Washington's Stake in the Manhattan Project

I created this for my Pacific Northwest History class at the University of Washington. The Hanford Site is a little known facility built in the early 1940's for the purposes of producing the very first nuclear bomb, the detonation of which was the notorious Trinity test you often see in archival footage. The facility is also the site of the first nuclear reactor, the 'B Reactor,' which refined plutonium-239.

A portion of my family formerly occupied eastern Washington, near this site, and I grew up with tales of the "down-winders"--the populace literally "down wind" from Hanford, who were allegedly prone to early onset cancers. According to the literature I've read, the amount of regularly emitted iodine-131 was only harmful prior to the installation of a sort of exhaust filter (the exact name escapes me) in 1946.