World's first nuclear reactor now a landmark

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) -- A nuclear reactor in Washington state that produced plutonium for the first atomic blast is now a National Historic Landmark.

The Department of the Interior announced the designation Monday for the world's first full-scale nuclear reactor.

The B Reactor at the Hanford site also produced plutonium for the second atomic bomb dropped on Japan during World War II.

Local officials have been seeking the landmark designation for years. They hope to save the reactor from being permanently cocooned as part of the cleanup of the highly contaminated site.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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