Hanford's Famous B-Reactor Staying Intact Until 2009 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford's Famous B-Reactor Staying Intact Until 2009

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RICHLAND, Wash.- For years Hanford preservationists and the Department of Energy argued over the fate of Hanford's B-Reactor, and now we know I'll stay put until at least 2009.

The reactor's stood non-operational for years because DOE hasn't come up with a way to safely tear it down.  

The decision means it won't be cocooned until at least 2009.   That gives time for a National Park Service study to determine whether Congress should make the reactor a museum or monument.

"B-Reactor is one of the most historic sites in the world, and it is literally right here in our backyard in the Tri-Cities.  It's like living next door to the Gettysburg Battlefield, or living next door to the Appomattox Courthouse, where the Civil War was concluded," said Michele Gerber, a Hanford historian.

"It's that significant, and it's right here."

Gerber says the reactor helped change the balance of power in the world during World War II.

The reactor has been closed down since the late 60's.