Since the open public tour slots to visit the Hanford site are, a) next to impossible to get in the first place when they're initially posted for availability online and b) impossible to get these days, period, for about a year, because of COVID-19.

Christopher Farrugia

Ah, but you're dealing with Hanford types, smart peeps all of them, so leave it to nuclear family to develop and publish a virtual tour which you can enjoy from the privacy of your own computer, where you get to move the camera in every direction to take it all in. I kept smashing my virtual face on the rocks that line the path. But you get better at mouse jostling as the tour moves along, and brothers and sisters let tell you, there is plenty to see. After almost an hour, I was just starting to get into the meat of it.

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The U.S. Department of Energy previously offered limited in-person spring and summer public tours, which filled quickly. The virtual tours are offered to maintain public access to the site cleanup during shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The website launched in January and offers self-guided tours that allow visitors to tour almost 30 locations on the nuclear reservation. The tour features 360-degree views and descriptions that explain what the viewer is looking at.

Dan Meyers

Tour stops, in no particular order, can include the Hanford 324 Building, 200 West Groundwater Treatment Project and buildings associated with the Direct Feed Low Activity Waste program, including tank farms and the Waste Treatment Plant.

The A/AX Farm page is maybe my favorite, very detailed, make sure you zoom in to capture all the intricacies of that spread. There are things to see in the 100, 200, 300, 400 and 600 areas of the nuclear reservation plus tabs to click to see offsite and infrastructure services.

Pick a rabbit hole, any virtual rabbit hole, and go for a fun and detailed dive.

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