Hanford Nuclear Reservation - The Hanford Site sits on 586-square-miles of shrub-steppe desert in southeastern Washington State. Beginning in 1943, the site was used to produce plutonium for the bomb that brought an end to World War II. After a short lull, production was ramped up in 1947 to meet the challenges of the “Cold War” and continued until 1987 when the last reactor ceased operation.
Weapons production processes left solid and liquid wastes that posed a risk to the local environment including the Columbia River. In 1989, the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Washington State Department of Ecology entered into a legally binding accord, the Tri-Party Agreement (TPA), to clean up the Hanford Site.
Nuclear reactors line the riverbank at the Hanford Site along the Columbia River in January 1960. The N Reactor is in the foreground, with the twin KE and KW Reactors in the immediate background. The historic B Reactor, the world's first plutonium production reactor, is visible in the distance.
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The Hanford Declassification Project (HDP) was initiated by RL to declassify to the maximum possible extent all previously classified Hanford operations information (documents and photographs). This project was initiated in 1994 and is planned for completion by the end of FY 2003.
The declassified information is scanned and the images made available directly through this homepage or via OpenNet. The intent is to provide easy and timely access to declassified information including that declassified in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.