Hanford: Making Tourist Bucks off the Manhattan Project

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December 21, 2015

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Hanford: Making Tourist Bucks
off the Manhattan Project

Oh, the Irony, Oh Boy:
“Hanford Reservation National Park”
(We Can Get Irradiated Too!)

Happy Winster’s Solstice: Free Music57 + politics, December 21, 2015, by Paul Evans and Dan Hershburger, photo of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy; photo of WWII Nagasaki, Japan nuclear detonation courtesy of Charles Levy. Full movie playlist, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” courtesy of YouTube. This is a cult classic from 1964 which starred Peter Sellers in several roles and also George C. Scott as General Jack Ripper. Singer Slim Pickens got to “ride the bomb” as the fun “rained down” at The End. Visionary. I got to see this a couple of times since then, and know you will enjoy it. Pleasant dreams!

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Oak Ridge Project” to develop the atomic bomb as a weapon to win World War II. It continued in the production of plutonium for the warheads for many years. The U.S. had made an atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, from a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber aircraft. Give ’em hell Harry Truman was President, succeediing FDR. The world’s second nuclear bombing was three days later, on August 9, 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan, from a bomb oddly named “Fat Man” (see photo below and to the left). This nuclear bombming prevented a United States ground invasion of Japan in August or September, 1944. It did it’s dirty work: V-J Day (Japan’s surrender) was six days later on Auaust 14-15, 1945, depending on your time zone.

photo of the nuclear reactor in Hanford Washington which made the plutonium used in the bombinb of Nagasaki

What they’re doing with the place that made the plutonium they used in the warhead…. See Most polluted US nuclear weapons building site plans for influx of tourists, The Guardian, December 20, 2015, by Associated Press:

Thousands of people are expected next year to tour the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, home of the world’s first full-sized nuclear reactor and the most polluted US nuclear weapons production site.

Visitors will not, however, be allowed anywhere near the country’s largest collection of toxic radioactive waste (Paul: but will they be putting themselves in jeoapardy?)

“Everything is clean and perfectly safe,” said Colleen French, the US Department of Energy’s program manager for Hanford. “Any radioactive materials are miles away.”

Also see Former Hanford site to become tourist destination, HeraldNet (of Everett, Washington), December 20, 2015, by Nicholas K. Geranios of Associated Press. Seems the locals took a rather strong interest in all this. Chances are, they’ll be selling the tourists cold brews and t-shirts and such.

See the FOX News story on this, Polluted nuclear weapons site to become tourist destination, December 21, 2015, by AP:

At Hanford, the main attractions will be B Reactor — the world’s first full-sized reactor — along with the ghost towns of Hanford and White Bluffs, which were evacuated by the government to make room for the Manhattan Project.

photo of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki showing the mushroom cloud

If you want the “skinny” on just how bad the radiation leaks were or the pollution, for example, of the adjacent Columbia River, read the Wikipedia article on the Hanford Site. Yes, they’re letting the place turn into an actual, live National Park. See the government Press Release from the town of Hanford, dated Novemeber 12th of this year. If you are 12 years old (and an American citizen??), you can get your fill. Yes, by all means, we will be bringing home those souveniers. A little yellowcake, maybe? Hopefully “spent.” It will be good to remind us of the constant jeoapardy we live under in the nuclear age.

To get back to WWII and 1945, my dad, Dr. Jack E. Evans, was a marine Lieutenent who served during WWII on Guam and in north China with the 3rd Regiment, 3rd Marine Division (actually he was on active duty until fall, 1946 in north China). He was slated to go ashore in the first wave of the proposed invasion of Japan proper. IF Fat Man had not done it’s inglorious work, I wonder if I even would exist.

Yet, what a terrible genie we let out of the bottle when we made the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki! We live in constant danger of WWIII these days, with the threat of nuclear winter. With the modern thermonuclear fusion bomb used around the world by hostile nations, it takes maybe 50 – 60 detonations at nearly the same time and POOF, the human race is history, along with most other multicellular life on earth. (Scientists theorize that animal – mainly Echinoderms – life would survive at the deep ocean tectonic plate spreading centers, for example. Jeez, did they actually research that or are they just theorizing?) So yes, maybe another $3 trillion regional war against ISIS, but let’s not let it get out of hand, shall we?

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Say what you will about President Obama, at least he’s kicked the can down the road on WWIII (Armageddon) and nuclear winter. It may be a weak peace, but that’s better than a hot war, because WWIII=nuclear winter. See Literal Belief in Revelations is Wrong, Free Music57 + politics, November 19, 2015, by Paul Evans.

It’s such a pleasant subject, no? Please join me in watching the first movie about “the end,” a cult classic called “Dr. Strengelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” “Mr. President, we must not allow a mine shaft gap.

Dr. Strangelove

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