Atomic Survival Town – Nye County, Nevada - Atlas Obscura

Atomic Survival Town

A picture-perfect town, perfect for blowing up. 


In 1955 a series of 14 nuclear test explosions known as “Operation Teapot” were set off in the Nevada desert at Yucca Flat.

The most memorable part of the tests were the purpose-built homes and other structures set at varying distances from the blasts to test the impact and effects of the explosions, known collectively as “Survival Town” – or, slightly less optimistically, “Doom Town.”

The most disturbing element of the fake town was its citizens: the homes were populated by 1950s picture-perfect mannequin families, bravely facing their imminent doom going about their daily routines in dapper outfits. Thousands of spectators watched the blasts from what was thought to be a safe distance. (Note: it was not a safe distance.)

Public tours are available.

Know Before You Go

The Nevada Test Site is located 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas on US-95

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