Atomic Frontier Days : Hanford And The American West

Decent Essays
Matthew Reinisch
Dr. Hoch
History 105-1
14 September 2015
Atomic Frontier Days: Hanford and the American West
In the book Atomic Frontier Days: Hanford and the American West by John M. Findlay and Bruce Hevly, the two authors explain the people’s different points of views for the outcome and purpose of Hanford. (page 6) The Hanford Site is located in Richland, Washington along the Columbia river. Richland is bordered by two other towns, Pasco and Kennewick. All together the towns are known as the Tri-Cities. The objective of this paper is to cover Hanford from a historical perspective explaining why Hanford transformed from problem solver to a problem.
In late 1942 and early 1943 Hanford was selected as the site of the Manhattan Engineer District (page 14-18). The Hanford Site sits on 586-square-miles of desert in southeastern Washington State. Beginning in 1943, the site was used to produce plutonium for the bomb that brought an end to World War II.
The objective of this project was to test and produce mass quantities of plutonium to produce the Atomic bomb. This site appeared to have the correct specifications, according to Lieutenant General Leslie R. Groves, one of the members of the Manhattan Engineer District (page 18). Even though the Hanford was dealing with the some of the most dangerous materials in the world, little attention was given to the possible contamination of the Columbia. The War Department began the process of recruiting workers to build nuclear
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