Nuclear Sites Proposed as National Parks
Los Alamos and Oak Ridge on the table
Congress is considering legislation that would give three historic nuclear sites National Park status. The Obama administration has expressed support for the bipartisan plan, which would draw tourism dollars and help preserve the atomic labs for posterity. The Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Handford, Washington, sites enriched plutonium and uranium, respectively, during World War II, while scientists and technicians in Los Alamos, New Mexico, assembled the materials into the bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “You can’t deny the impact nuclear weapons have had,” Council on Foreign Relations Fellow Micah Zenko said. While the Energy Department says the sites are safe to visit, all three are currently undergoing multi-billion-dollar cleanup initiatives or in the process of permanently storing nuclear waste.