Kennewick Mayor Testifies at House Hearing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Mayor Testifies at House Hearing

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- The congressman representing the Tri-Cities says it isn't a matter of if, but when Hanford's B-reactor will become part of a national historic park.

Doc Hastings chairs the Natural Resources Committee that held a hearing Friday on Hastings' bill to establish the Manhattan National Historic Park. 

Kennewick Mayor Steve Young testified at the hearing. Young told house members the workers who built the B-reactor were among the most talented in their respective fields.

"Most stayed on the job and their communities long after 1945," Young told the committee. "These are the engineering feats and accomplishments that must be told to future generations, and it needs to be told before all of those old timers are gone."

 It took Hanford workers eleven months to build the B-reactor, which produced the nuclear materials for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on august 13,1945.

The national park would also include the government facilities at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico, which were also involved in the Manhattan Project.

The bill failed to get a two-thirds majority in the last congress, but Hastings told committee members he believes he has the support to pass the bill.