The B Reactor National Historic Landmark
The B Reactor National Historic Landmark at the Hanford Site in Washington state was the world's first full-scale plutonium production reactor. Created as part of the top secret Manhattan Project during World War II, B Reactor produced the plutonium used in the Trinity Test (the world's first nuclear detonation) in July 1945, as well as for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945 that contributed to the Japanese surrender and end of World War II. The reactor was designed and built by the DuPont company based on experimental designs tested by Dr. Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago and tests from the X-10 Graphite Reactor at Oak Ridge, TN. Construction of B Reactor began in October 1943, and fuel was loaded into B Reactor on Sept. 13, 1944 - just 11 months later.
The B Reactor was named a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1976, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1994, and became a National Historic Landmark in 2008. B Reactor has been open for annual public tours since 2009, and gets more than 10,000 visitors each year. The facility has been toured by guests from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide.
B Reactor tours are free of charge and are open to visitors of all ages and from around the world. Cameras are welcome.
2016 Tour Season
With the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in November 2015, and in partnership with the National Park Service, the Department of Energy has expanded public access to B Reactor for 2016. Tour season will run from mid-April through mid-November and includes more than 12,500 tour seats. Tours will be offered Monday through Saturday.
All tours leave from the Manhattan Project National Historical Park's Interim Visitor Contact Station (B Reactor Tour HQ), located at 2000 Logston Blvd, Richland WA. The tour lasts about 4 hours, including travel to and from the B Reactor, and begins with a short video and introduction at the visitor station. Guests have about 2 hours at the B Reactor. There are restrooms at the Interim Visitor Contact Station, at the B Reactor, and on the bus.
PLEASE NOTE: Guests under the age of 18 must tour with a parent/guardian or an adult designated by the parent/guardian. Each guest under the age of 18 must also bring a signed release form, which identifies potential hazards associated with the industrial environment at B Reactor and outlines the responsibilities of the parent, guardian, or accompanying adult. There is no exception to this rule. The release form may be found here. Please call us at the tour office if you have any questions or concerns.
Generally there will be one tour on Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and two tours each of the other days from 7:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Check the list below to view available dates prior to beginning your registration process.
- April 18-23, and 25-30
- May 2-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-26 and 31
- June 1-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-25, and 27-30
- July 6-9, 11-16, 18-23, and 25-30
- August 1-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27, and 29-31
- September 6-10, 12-17, 19-24, and 26-30
- October 1, 3-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29, and 31
- November 1-5, 7-12, and 14-19
Click on the registration button on the right to begin the registration process.
Please call (509) 376-1647 to inquire about tours for schools or private groups.
Cameras, Cell Phones and other recording devices are allowed at the B Reactor.
Non-alcoholic beverages and/or snacks are allowed on the bus, however, only water is allowed inside the reactor.
Check out the following information on B Reactor: