B Reactor

B Reactor, the world's first industrial-scale nuclear reactor, was built during World War II as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.

One of three plutonium production reactors built in total secrecy at Hanford during World War II, B Reactor produced plutonium for the Trinity test at Alamagordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945, and for the atomic bomb exploded on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Hanford's Historic B Reactor (PDF format, 0.9 MB)

U.S. Department of Energy 12-page brochure on restoration of Hanford's first plutonium production reactor for limited access tours and possible future use as a publicly accessible museum. Includes history and description of the reactor facility and process, including diagrams, photos, and maps.

History of 100-B Area (PDF format, 12 MB)

This 62-page document (WHC-EP-0273, October 1989) covers construction, facilities description, startup, operation, and deactivation of the historic B Reactor at Hanford. 62 pages, including photographs.

B Reactor Historic American Engineering Record (PDF format, 8 MB)

This 191-page document (DOE/RL-2001-16) is the official record of B Reactor construction and operation. It is kept in the archives of the Library of Congress.