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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Anti-nuclear activists are lining up against legislation to create national parks at Los Alamos National Laboratory and two other sites where the world's first nuclear bombs were developed, calling the plan an expensive glorification of an ugly chapter in history.
"It is a debasement of the national parks idea," said Greg Mello, a co-founder of the anti-nuclear watchdog, Los Alamos Study Group.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar released a study to Congress last week that recommends establishing a national historical park to commemorate the top-secret Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said he is drafting legislation to create sites at Los Alamos; Hanford, Wash.; and Oak Ridge, Tenn.
"The secret development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the United States is an important story and one of the most transformative events in our nation's history," Salazar said in a release announcing the project. "The Manhattan Project ushered in the atomic age, changed the role of the United States in the world community, and set the stage for the Cold War."
Anti-nuclear activists were appalled.
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