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Pasco(păs`kō), city (1990 pop. 20,337), seat of Franklin co., SE Wash., on the Columbia River near its confluence with the Snake and Yakima rivers. It is a trade and shipping center for the Columbia basin projectColumbia basin project,
central Wash., a multipurpose development of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation providing irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control. Its key unit, the Grand Coulee Dam, provides the project with power and pumps the waters of the Columbia River into
..... Click the link for more information. . Farm products include wheat, alfalfa, potatoes, beans, grapes, and cattle. There is food processing and meatpacking; wineries and diverse manufacturing, including paper and machine parts, are also important. Pasco was an early railroad division point. With Kennewick and Richland it forms a tricity area that grew during World War II, when the Manhattan ProjectManhattan Project,
the wartime effort to design and build the first nuclear weapons (atomic bombs). With the discovery of fission in 1939, it became clear to scientists that certain radioactive materials could be used to make a bomb of unprecented power. U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. 's Hanford Works were constructed nearby. The completion (1956) of the McNary Dam extended Columbia River navigation to the mouth of the Snake River, thus making Pasco an inland port.