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Hanford one of four sites considered for inclusion in national park system

As part of the Manhattan Project Sites Special Resource Study, the National Park Service will host an open house on Thursday, Jan. 21, from 2 to 4 p.m., then again from 7 to 9 p.m. that evening at the Red Lion Hotel in Richland regarding the feasibility of designating one or more of the project sites as part of the national park system.

Operating between 1942 and 1945 and employing 130,000 at its peak, the Manhattan Project was an unprecedented, top-secret government program during World War II that was aimed at constructing a nuclear bomb before Nazi Germany did.

The project resulted in scientific and technological advancements that transformed the role of the United States in the world community and ushered in the atomic age.

Currently, there are no nationally designated sites to recognize and interpret the full significance and importance of the Manhattan Project.

Congress has directed the Department of the Interior, in consultation with the Department of Energy, to conduct a study for the preservation and interpretation of four historic sites associated with the Manhattan Project, which includes the Hanford site, as well as the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee and sites in Dayton, Ohio.

The study will include alternatives for long term preservation and interpretation of the sites and will result in final recommendations to Congress. Final designation decisions will be made by Congress.

Those wishing to provide input but unable to attend the Jan. 21 meetings in Richland are encouraged to submit comments via the internet at parkplanning.nps.gov.

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