US Opens Top Secret Cold War Nuclear Site for Tour

By on July 26, 2013
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The legendary secretive US research laboratory that is the cradle of America’s nuclear weapons program has opened up a Cold War-era nuclear arms storage facility to give the public a glimpse at the top secret site.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory has released video footage (see it, below) of a facility known as the Tunnel Vault that served as the original US nuclear stockpile storage area following World War II and was once one of the most secretive and secure locations in the United States, the New Mexico-based laboratory said this week.

The tunnel, which extends 230 feet (70 meters) into the side of a canyon wall and is some 300 feet (91 meters) underground, was not part of the original US Manhattan Project that produced the word’s first atomic bombs and which used the Los Alamos site as its primary research laboratory.

Built between 1948 and 1949, the Tunnel Vault was “used to store the United States’ [nuclear] stockpile for about nine months, from about April of 1949 until May of 1950,” Glen McDuff, a former weapons scientist in the facility who later operated a classified museum there, says in a video released by Los Alamos.

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