Letters: Readers laud a ‘brilliant’ look at the nation’s atomic history

I just finished reading the article on the trip to the Hanford Site in Washington state [“Grappling With Hard Truths” by Christopher Reynolds, April 24]. It was well done. Thank you for the balance, which we don’t always see. I was particularly intrigued with this idea from the story: “What if guides in the U.S., Hiroshima and Nagasaki teamed up to tell stories together, or to build electronic links between locations?”

With help of a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, two staff members and an intern from the Los Alamos Historical Society in New Mexico just spent 2½ weeks in Japan, meeting with museum colleagues in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to begin talking about what Reynolds’ addresses. These were very preliminary meetings. We are learning how to bridge not only the huge cultural differences but also the many viewpoints on the same events. It’s daunting but offers some exciting possibilities.

Heather McClenahan
Executive director
Los Alamos Historical Society



I am so pleased with the inclusion of Hanford in the National Parks series and with giving some voice to nuclear memory in the mainstream media. There are exciting books and articles being published about nuclear Cold War history and science. They are as diverse as Jacob Darwin Hamblin’s “Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism,” Kate Brown’s “Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters” and Eric Schlosser’s “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety.” There is also a great nuclear secrecy website with archival documents

Linda Richards

Oregon State University

Corvallis, Ore.


Thank you for the awesome article on Hanford and the B Reactor and the photos and video by Mark Boster. I love the awed faces of the schoolchildren.

A couple of websites that may be of interest: the B Reactor Museum Assn., which worked 25 years to preserve the B Reactor, and the website of the Tri-Cities’ World Citizens for Peace, which was founded in 1982 as part of the national nuclear freeze campaign to oppose the buildup of nuclear weapons and Hanford’s role in it.

I am a physicist, retired from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory here, which began as the Hanford Laboratories, and was a founding officer of both organizations.

Jim Stoffels

Richland, Wash.


I just finished reading this brilliant article. I loved it. I have been to Alamogordo, the Trinity site and White Sands in New Mexico.This stuff is fascinating to me.

As a 67-year-old who grew up in San Diego, I was naive as a baby boomer. My dad was a World War II vet in the Navy in the North Atlantic. He really never told us much, and history was so sterile in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Michael Pulli

Laguna Hills