The Hanford Site is a decommissioned nuclear production complex on the
Columbia River in south-central Washington operated by the United States
government. Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, it was
home to the B-Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in
the world. During the Cold War, the project was expanded to include nine
nuclear reactors and five massive plutonium processing complexes, which
produced plutonium for most of the 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear
arsenal. Nuclear technology developed rapidly during this period, and
Hanford scientists produced many notable technological achievements.
However, many of the early safety procedures and waste disposal practices
were inadequate. Government documents have since confirmed that Hanford's
operations released significant amounts of radioactive materials to the air
and to the Columbia River, threatening the health of residents and
ecosystems. Today, Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear site in the
United States and is the focus of the nation's largest environmental cleanup
effort. While most of the current activity at the site is related to the
cleanup project, Hanford also hosts a commercial nuclear power plant, the
Columbia Generating Station, and various centers for scientific research and
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Burgundian Wars: Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, died at the Battle
of Nancy, eventually leading to the partition of Burgundy between France and
the House of Habsburg.
Felix Manz, co-founder of the original Swiss Brethren Anabaptist
congregation in Zürich, was executed by drowning, becoming one of the first
martyrs of the Radical Reformation.
Alexander Dubček came to power in Czechoslovakia, beginning a period of
political liberalization known as the Prague Spring that still enabled the
Communist Party to maintain real power.
The Tasman Bridge, crossing the Derwent River in Hobart, Tasmania,
Australia, was struck by the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra, killing seven of
the ship's crewmen and five motorists on the bridge.
Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System, was discovered by
a team led by Michael E. Brown using images originally taken on October 21,
2003 at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, USA.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
pannier (n) 1. A large basket or bag fastened, usually in pairs, to the
back of a bicycle or pack animal, or carried in pairs over the shoulders.
2. A decorative basket for the display of flowers or
3. One of a pair of hoops formerly used to expand the
volume of a woman's skirt to either side.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and
powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized
its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion
and science, with modernism and mysticism, with materialism and
spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a
society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow
from the depth of a divine search. --Zulfikar Ali Bhutto