Atomic tourism

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Tourists at ground zero, Trinity site.

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.[1] 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."[2][3][4] A Bureau of Atomic Tourism was proposed by American photographer Richard Misrach and writer Myriam Weisang Misrach in 1990.[5][6]

Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau tour of the Hanford Site (7597549756)
Boarding the bus for Chernobyl (11383815603)

Atomic museums

Research and production

Delivery vehicles


Explosion sites

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.[9][10][11][12]
  • 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.[13]
  • 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.[14]
Chornobyl DSC 0226 13

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. [15]


  1. ^ Arizona Republic: Associated Press. “Nuke-site interested spurred by Japan disaster.” Leanne Italie. - Mar. 30, 2011.
  2. ^ Sayer, Kyeann. "Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation". Treehugger. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Center for Land Use Interpretation. "Open House at the Nevada Test Site: And a Glimpse of what a Nuclear Test Site Tourist Attraction Might be Like". CLUI.ORG. Center for Land Use Interpretation. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Coolidge, edited by Matthew; Simons, Sarah; Rugoff (forward), Ralph (2006). Overlook : exploring the internal fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation. New York: Metrolpolis Books. ISBN 978-1933045337. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Misrach, Richard; Weisang Misrach, Myriam (1990). Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0801840647. 
  6. ^ Beck, John (2009). Dirty wars landscape, power, and waste in western American literature. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. p. 332. ISBN 9780803226692. 
  7. ^ 都立 第五福竜丸展示館 Official Site
  8. ^ Hack Green. "Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker". Hack Green Nuclear Bunker. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  9. ^ New Sight in Chernobyl's Dead Zone: Tourists - New York Times
  10. ^ Bleak-o Tourism, Welcome to Chernobyl - Lonely Planet Travel Archived April 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Morris, Holly. "Sex and drugs and radiation: Dare-devil 'stalkers' illegally enter Chernobyl's Dead Zone". The Independent. The Independent UK. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Morris, Holly. "The Stalkers Inside the bizarre subculture that lives to explore Chernobyl's Dead Zone". article from Roads & Kingdoms series. Slate. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Three Mile Island Visitors Center Attraction Details". Explore PA History. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Seascale - Sellafied Nuclear Reprocessing Facility". Visit Cumbria. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  15. ^ PN Review. "Missouri Breaks: Paul Therous, O-Zone". PN Review. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 

External links

  • My Radioactive Vacation by Phil Stuart
  • Hanford site tours
  • "Taylor's Nuke Site - Nuclear Tourism[permanent dead link]
  • "Adventures in Atomic Tourism"
  • Atomkeller Museum Haigerloch, Germany
  • Atomic Tourism: Exploring the world's Nuclear at Atomic Sites
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