HomeOutdoorsNewsHanford National Monument Honored With 2023 Tourist Passport Stamp

Hanford National Monument Honored With 2023 Tourist Passport Stamp

by Taylor Cunningham

Washinton State’s Handford National Monument is the centerpiece of the 2023 Passport to Your National Parks Stamp Set.

The 196,000 acres national wildlife refuge is part of The Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which is comprised of three locations in New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington. The spots were jointly responsible for creating the atomic bombs that helped end World War II.

“The park turns seven this month as it debuts in the 2023 stamp set,” said acting park superintendent Wendy Berhman. “The national stamp provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the park and invite people to learn about and visit the park throughout the year.”

The coveted passport stamp set first debuted in 1986, and it became an annual tradition. They are now a major collector’s item among outdoorsmen. People place the stamps inside their National Park commemorative passport booklet as they collect a rubber-stamped “cancellation” at each national park they visit.

The Passport to Your National Parks Stamp Set Features Pictures of All Three Manhattan Project National Historical Park Locations

As the stamp explains, the park “commemorates the top-secret project that ushered in the nuclear age with the development of the world’s first atomic bombs. As World War II waned in 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan — killing thousands, creating long-lasting devastation, and forever changing the world.”

The Hanford National Monument is home to B Reactor, which is the world’s first large-scale nuclear reactor. It took 120,000 workers less than a year to construct the building. Once completed, the government converted natural uranium metal into plutonium-239 with neutron activation. The end result was used in nuclear weapons.

The efforts took place as word spread that Nazi Germany was planning to be the first to develop the technology. The site has since closed, but the building remains inside the park. And it sits among the empty communities that officials cleared in order to keep the operation top secret. Today, people can visit the spot and take seasonal tours of the grounds.

An illustration of the reactor sits in the center of the Passport to Your National Parks Stamp Set. The stamp also dons a picture of the X-10 reactor in Oak Ridge, TN. And the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico is featured.

Oak Ridge produced enriched uranium that fueled the bomb that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima. Workers in Los Alamos constructed the atomic bombs.