Th’ Gaussling took a quick trip to the Atomic Testing Museum this week. It is located on Flamingo Rd a few blocks east of the Las Vegas strip. Before entering I was dubious, wrongly thinking that it would be a thin gruel of well worn nuke photos and a few trinkets. I was wrong.

The museum is meant to chronicle the activity of the Nevada Test Site just a few miles to the north. There are numerous video units showing various shots.

They have a substantial collection of diverse equipment used in nuclear weapons testing as well as models of a few actual nuclear weapons, notably the Davy Crockett miniature nuclear bomb. There is very little in the way of bomb design detail, but there is considerable detail in regard to radiation sampling from the burst, drilling equipment, dosimeters, GM counters, a mushroom-cloud sampling rocket, slide rules, nuclear rocket motors, down-hole test rigs, etc.

The museum has a modest theater with special sound and wind effects to simulate being in close proximity of a test shot. They do a decent job. If the wind was hot, though, it would be more realistic. But in general, the application of museum science is well done.

If you are in the Las Vegas area, I would recommend a visit. The nuclear legacy is a part of our national history.  The Nuclear Genie is out of the bottle, but the people who write policies and devise programs need pushback from an educated populace in regard to the stewardship of the nuclear inventory and its expanded use.

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