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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) wrote to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to convey her continued support for designating the B Reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as a National Historic Landmark. Senator Murray has been a strong supporter of preserving the B Reactor as a way to honor the sacrifices of the residents of the Tri-Cities during World War II, teach the important lessons of the Cold War, and build the region’s tourism economy.

“The B Reactor and the people who made it a reality have played an indelible role in our nation’s history,” Murray wrote. “That history must be preserved so that we as a society have the opportunity to reflect on and learn from the important lessons this facility has to offer. Designation as a National Historic Landmark is an important step forward in permanently protecting the B Reactor and recognizing the important work of the residents of the Tri-Cities during World War II and the Cold War.”

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Murray has worked to support preservation and National Historic Landmark designation of the B-Reactor by:

Officials from the  Department of Interior and the Department of Energy are scheduled to visit the B Reactor on Monday, August 25th.

The full text of Senator Murray’s letter to Secretary Kempthorne:

August 22, 2008

The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne
Secretary
Department of Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Secretary Kempthorne:

I am writing today to express my strong support for designating the B Reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as a National Historic Landmark.

As the world’s first large-scale nuclear reactor, the B Reactor played a key role in the history of nuclear materials production in the United States and also contributed to the development of the Hanford Site and the Tri-Cities.  The B Reactor and the people who made it a reality have played an indelible role in our nation’s history.  That history must be preserved so that we as a society have the opportunity to reflect on and learn from the important lessons this facility has to offer.

Designation as a National Historic Landmark is an important step forward in permanently protecting the B Reactor and recognizing the important work of the residents of the Tri-Cities during World War II and the Cold War.

I appreciate the work of the National Park Service in completing the nomination study, as well as the efforts of the National Park System Advisory Board, who in July recommended the designation of the B Reactor.  I encourage you to complete the process and designate the B Reactor as a National Historic Landmark.

I believe that the B Reactor is deserving of this high honor of historic importance and preservation from the National Park Service.  Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.  

Sincerely,   

Patty Murray
United States Senator