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America’s atomic history is now open to the public

The Hanford site was one of the most crucial parts of The Manhattan Project, the U.S. government's secret program to produce the atomic bomb. And tourists are flocking to it.

by Roberto Ferdman
Dec 9 2017, 8:08am

The nuclear production complex called the Hanford Site was a crucial part of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government’s secret program that produced the atomic bomb. Now, the U.S. government is doing a lot more than just preserving this piece of history — it’s showing it off.

In the 70-odd years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hanford has become by far the largest hazardous waste site in the U.S., where the government spends billions of dollars every year cleaning up the radioactive mess. It is also, bizarrely, home to one of country’s newest national parks.

VICE News joined a bus full of atomic tourists who traveled to the middle of nowhere to see the world’s first nuclear reactor.

This segment originally aired December 1, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.