Hanford tour registration opens online Tuesday

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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Energy opens online registration Tuesday for free tours of the nation's most contaminated nuclear site.

South-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation has proven to be a popular tourist draw in recent years, with available slots filling up in minutes.

Sixty public tours are scheduled this year from April to September. Each tour lasts about five hours and includes stops at the original Hanford and White Bluffs town sites and the historic B Reactor, the world's first full-scale nuclear reactor.

B Reactor produced plutonium for the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki to end the war with Japan.

Online registration opens at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday at the Public Tour link on the department's web site, www.hanford.gov .