Hanford's B Reactor may get National Historic Park designation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford's B Reactor may get National Historic Park designation

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RICHLAND, Wash.-- The National Park Service and Secretary of Interior recommended Hanford's B Reactor be turned into a National Historic Park Wednesday.

The recommendation came along with the results of a study done by the National Park Service (NPS) to see if the site could be made into a National Historic Park.

Along with Hanford's B Reactor, facilities at Oak Ridge and Los Alamos nuclear plants have been recommended for preservation and inclusion in a group of National Parks.  They all have to do with the Manhattan Project, the top secret mission that lead to the U.S. creation of the nuclear bomb.

Congressman Doc Hastings authored the law in 2004 directing the NPS to study the sites. He say's he's excited progress will continue.

"We can start the process of really preserving that site and hopefully in the long run allowing more and more access so people can see the B Reactor. Because it truly is an extraordinary piece of equipment," said the congressman.

Hanford's B Reactor is the world's first full scale plutonium production reactor. It produced plutonium for the first ever nuclear explosion as well as the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. It was decommissioned in 1968.

Now that the recommendation has been made, it's up to Congress and President Obama to decide whether to designate the site as a Historic Park.