On Wednesday, October 10, 2007, the Atomic Heritage Foundation, B Reactor Museum Association, and the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center celebrated the opening of new exhibits at the B Reactor in Richland, Washington. The world’s first industrial-scale nuclear reactor, the B Reactor was built in just 11 months during the Manhattan Project, the top secret World War II effort to build an atomic bomb. The B Reactor produced plutonium used in the “Fat Man” atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan that brought about the end of the war.
Two bus tours took invited guests and media on tours of the reactor. The new exhibits, which include graphic panels, audiovisual displays, and a scale model of the reactor, were made possible by a generous grant to the Atomic Heritage Foundation from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, as well as contributions from the Department of Energy and the B Reactor Museum Association.
Following the tours, a program and reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibits was held at Anthony’s Event Center. Speakers, including Kimberly Camp, executive director of the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center; Michele Gerber, historian; Cynthia C. Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation; and Hank Kosmata, president of the B Reactor Museum Association, discussed the importance of preserving the B Reactor and its history.