15 Nuclear History Sites That You Can Visit - Atlas Obscura Lists

15 Nuclear History Sites That You Can Visit

From massive craters to secret cities, these places are relics of the Atomic Age.

On July 16, 1945, the first nuclear explosion occurred a few hundred miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Named the Trinity test by J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, the test was part of the Manhattan Project and ushered the world into the age of nuclear weapons. From that day until 1992, the United States alone conducted more than 1,000 nuclear tests. Many of the sites where these earth-shattering explosions took place can still be visited today and offer a glimpse into the power of the atomic bomb.

In Nye County, Nevada, on the former Nevada Test Site stands a bank vault that survived a nuclear explosion. The Mosler safe was set at the test site to showcase the strength of the vault, which endured a 37-kiloton atom bomb. Only twice a year can the public visit the site of the Trinity test site in New Mexico. The desolate nature of the site is stark with a simple obelisk designating the location’s history.

Not all of these sites are giant craters—though one is among the largest human-made craters in the world. From a secret city built to house Manhattan Project workers to the burial place of the world’s first nuclear reactor, here are 15 nuclear test sites that can still be visited.