Neha Patil

Atomic tourism

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Atomic tourism

Atomic tourism is a relatively new type of tourism in which visitors learn about the Atomic Age by traveling to significant sites in atomic history such as museums with atomic weapons, vehicles that carried atomic weapons or sites where atomic weapons were detonated. The Center for Land Use Interpretation has conducted tours of the Nevada Test Site, Trinity Site, and other historical atomic age sites, to explore the cultural significance of these Cold War nuclear zones. The book Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America describes the purpose of this tourism as "windows into the American psyche, landmarks that manifest the rich ambiguities of the nation's cultural history." A Bureau of Atomic Tourism was proposed by American photographer Richard Misrach and writer Myriam Weisang Misrach in 1990.


Research and production

  • Los Alamos Historical Museum, Los Alamos, New Mexico - items from the Manhattan Project
  • Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos, New Mexico - history of the Manhattan Project
  • X-10 Graphite Reactor, Oak Ridge, Tennessee - first nuclear reactor to produce Plutonium 239
  • Savannah River Site, South Carolina - production site of plutonium and tritium
  • Experimental Breeder Reactor I, Arco, Idaho - first nuclear reactor to produce electrical power, first breeder reactor, and first reactor to use plutonium as fuel
  • Hanford Site, Washington - location of the B Reactor which produced some of the plutonium for the Trinity test and the Fat Man bomb
  • George Herbert Jones Laboratory, Chicago, Illinois - where plutonium was first isolated and characterized
  • American Museum of Science and Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee - bomb casings
  • National Atomic Testing Museum, Paradise, Nevada - Nevada Test Site
  • Strategic Missile Forces Museum, Ukraine
  • National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Albuquerque
  • Delivery vehicles

  • Tinian Airfield, Northern Mariana Islands - launch site for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan during World War II
  • Titan Missile Museum, Sahuarita, Arizona - public underground missile museum
  • Nike Missile Site SF-88, Marin County, California - fully restored Nike missile complex
  • Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site, Cooperstown, North Dakota - last surviving complete facilities from USAF 321st Missile Wing (01Nov63-30Sep98), namely Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility (4 mi N of Cooperstown) and November-33 Launch Facility (missile silo, 2 mi E of Cooperstown)
  • National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Albuquerque, New Mexico - missiles and rockets
  • National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio - the Nagasaki B-29 bomber (Bockscar) and missiles
  • National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. - the Hiroshima B-29 bomber (Enola Gay)
  • White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
  • Air Force Space & Missile Museum, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
  • Air Force Armament Museum, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Wall, South Dakota - Launch Control Facility Delta-01 with its corresponding underground Launch Control Center and Launch Facility (Missile Silo) Delta-09
  • South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Box Elder, South Dakota - Minuteman Missile Transporter truck, 44th Missile Wing Training Launch Facility (Training Missile Silo)
  • Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska - a museum focusing on aircraft and nuclear missiles of the United States Air Force
  • Miscellaneous

  • Greenbrier Bunker, Greenbrier County, West Virginia - underground bunker for the United States Congress
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima - contains the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and related memorials
  • Nagasaki Peace Park and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki
  • The Daigo FukuryĆ« Maru ship, a Japanese fishing boat that was contaminated after the Castle Bravo detonation in 1954, it is now on display in Tokyo at the Tokyo Metropolitan Daigo FukuryĆ« Maru Exhibition Hall.
  • CFS Carp - also known as The Diefenbunker, a cold war nuclear museum in a former underground Canadian military facility outside of Ottawa
  • Chernobyl Museum, Kiev
  • Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, Cheshire countryside near the town on Nantwich, UK
  • Explosion sites

  • Trinity Site, Socorro County, New Mexico - site of the first artificial nuclear explosion
  • Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada - US nuclear test site
  • Pacific Proving Grounds, US nuclear test site
  • Carson National Forest, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico - site of Project Gasbuggy
  • Carlsbad, New Mexico - site of Project Gnome
  • Hiroshima, first wartime use of an atomic bomb
  • Nagasaki, last wartime use of an atomic bomb
  • Maralinga, South Australia - site of Operation Buffalo and Operation Antler
  • Pokhran, Rajasthan - site of the Pokhran-II test
  • Atomic accidents

  • The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. Tourists can access the exclusion zone surrounding the plant, and in particular the abandoned city of Prypiat.
  • Three Mile Island was the site of a well publicized accident, the most significant in the history of American commercial nuclear power. The Three Mile Island Visitor Center, in Middletown, PA, educates the public through exhibitions and video displays.
  • Windscale fire On October 10, 1957, the graphite core of a British nuclear reactor at Windscale, Cumbria, caught fire, releasing substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area. The event, known as the Windscale fire, was considered the world's worst reactor accident until the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Both incidents were dwarfed by the magnitude of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The Visitor Center was closed in 1992, and the public may no longer visit, it has been turned into a center for supplier conferences, and business events.
  • Literary and cinematic works on atomic tourism

    The novel O-Zone, by Paul Theroux, involves a group of wealthy New York tourists who enter and party in a post-nuclear disaster zone in the Ozarks.


    Atomic tourism Wikipedia

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