Tourists at ground zero, Trinity site.

Atomic tourism or nuclear tourism is a recent form of tourism in which visitors learn about the Atomic Age by traveling to significant sites in atomic history such as nuclear test reactors, museums with nuclear weapon artifacts, delivery vehicles, sites where atomic weapons were detonated, and nuclear power plants.[1][2]

In the United States, the Center for Land Use Interpretation has conducted tours of the Nevada Test Site, Trinity Site, Hanford 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."[3][4][5] A Bureau of Atomic Tourism was proposed by American photographer Richard Misrach and writer Myriam Weisang Misrach in 1990.[6][7]

Visitors to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone often visit the nearby deserted city of Pripyat.[1] The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), which survived the destruction of Hiroshima, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the center of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.[8] Bikini Atoll was at one time the site of a diving tourism initiative.[9] As of 2012, China planned to build a tourist destination at its first atomic test site, the Malan Base at Lop Nur in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.[10]

During the early atomic age when fission was viewed as a sign of progress and modernity, the city of Las Vegas and its Chamber of Commerce nicknamed Vegas as the "Atomic City" in the mid-1940s and early 1950s in an attempt to attract tourists.[11][12] So called "bomb viewing parties" took place on desert hilltops, or more famously at the panoramic Sky Room at the Desert Inn, and casinos held Miss Atomic pageants while serving Atomic Cocktails.[13][14][15]

Several nuclear power plants offer tours of the facilities or provide education at visitor centers.

Atomic museums

Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau tour of the Hanford Site

Research and production

Delivery vehicles


The Black Hole, Los Alamos, New Mexico
WIPP visitor center, Department of Energy field office, Carlsbad

Atomic mines

Explosion sites

Mushroom cloud near Las Vegas.

The alphabetic list by nations is as follows:

Atomic accidents


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. [24]


  1. ^ a b Boyle, Rebecca (2017). "Greetings from Isotopia". Distillations. 3 (3): 26–35. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Italie, Leanne (March 30, 2011). "Japan disaster boosts interest in atomic tourism". AZ Central/Associated Press. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  3. ^ Sayer, Kyeann. "Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation". Treehugger. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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. ((cite book)): |first1= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ Misrach, Richard; Weisang Misrach, Myriam (1990). Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0801840647.
  7. ^ Beck, John (2009). Dirty wars landscape, power, and waste in western American literature. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. p. 332. ISBN 9780803226692.
  8. ^ UNESCO. "Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)".
  9. ^ Gwynne, S. C. (October 17, 2012). "Paradise With an Asterisk". Outside. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Former Chinese nuclear bomb base turned into tourist attraction". CNN Travel. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Atomic tests were a tourist draw in 1950s Las Vegas". 8 August 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Atomic Cocktail". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Who are you miss atomic bomb". 26 April 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Nuclear Tourism Travels in the Shadow of the Bomb". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  15. ^ "National Atomic Testing Museum". National Atomic Testing Museum in Association with the Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  16. ^ 都立 第五福竜丸展示館 Official Site
  17. ^ Hack Green. "Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker". Hack Green Nuclear Bunker. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  18. ^ New Sight in Chernobyl's Dead Zone: Tourists - New York Times
  19. ^ Bleak-o Tourism, Welcome to Chernobyl - Lonely Planet Travel Archived April 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Morris, Holly (17 October 2014). "Sex and drugs and radiation: Dare-devil 'stalkers' illegally enter Chernobyl's Dead Zone". The Independent. The Independent UK. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  21. ^ Morris, Holly (26 September 2014). "The Stalkers Inside the bizarre subculture that lives to explore Chernobyl's Dead Zone". article from Roads & Kingdoms series. Slate. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  22. ^ "Three Mile Island Visitors Center Attraction Details". Explore PA History. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  23. ^ "Seascale - Sellafied Nuclear Reprocessing Facility". Visit Cumbria. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  24. ^ PN Review. "Missouri Breaks: Paul Therous, O-Zone". PN Review. Retrieved 19 December 2014.