Welcome to Hanford
For the Manhattan Project, the Hanford Engineer Works produced plutonium at a roughly 600-square-mile (965-square-km) site along the Columbia River in Washington state. The Hanford Site was selected because of an abundant supply of cold Columbia river water needed to cool nuclear reactors, ample available hydroelectric power, mild climate, excellent transportation facilities, and distance from major population centers. Workers at the Hanford Site constructed and operated the world’s first nuclear production reactors that produced the plutonium used in the Trinity Test and in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945.
This history continues to impact the communities surrounding the Hanford Site. Hanford was a major part of the US nuclear weapons production complex during the Cold War. Advanced technology research facilities still exist throughout the Tri-Cities and numerous places can be visited that were shaped by the Manhattan Project and its ongoing legacy.
Hanford Visitor Center
The Manhattan Project Visitor Center in Hanford is located at:
Last updated: December 3, 2021