S. 507. The bill will now be sent to the floor for a vote, as yet unscheduled. On May 16, 2013, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act,
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is chaired by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who visited the B Reactor at Hanford in February and pledged support for the proposed park. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) sponsored the bill in the Senate, with Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Patty Murray (D-WA) as co-sponsors. The House version of the bill, H.R. 1208, has been approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources and has been sent to the House floor for a vote, also currently unscheduled.
press release after the vote, stating, "Today marks an important step towards preserving the Hanford B Reactor's place in American history – and allowing more visitors to see this historic site. Designating the B Reactor as part of a National Historical Park is a fitting honor for the groundbreaking engineering achievements and enormous sacrifices of the workers there."Senator Cantwell issued a
Her press release goes on to note that in 2012, B Reactor tourism brought in $1.5 million for the Tri-Cities economy. With a national historical park increasing accessibility and tours, as well as providing greater publicity, to the B Reactor and other Manhattan Project sites, the economic benefits to the local communities will undoubtedly further increase.
With strong advocates and bipartisan support, the Atomic Heritage Foundation is guardedly optimistic that the legislation will pass and the new park established.