For decades the location of a secret US government site containing nuclear weapons has been hidden several hundred feet below a McDonald’s in Los alamos, New Mexico.
Los Alamos National Laboratory says that the top-secret facility known as the “tunnel vault” has been declassified and is being shown on lab tours for families of laboratory workers and the news media. The tours are part of the lab’s celebration of its 70th anniversary. The facility, which served as the nation’s original post-World War II nuclear stockpile storage area, was built in 1948 and 1949 in a remote canyon at the weapons laboratory’s Technical Area 41 (not to be confused with Nevada’s Area 51).
The site was protected by a hardened guard tower with bullet proof glass and gun ports that protected a 230 foot tunnel into the canyon wall which would later be directly above a McDonald’s where thousands of customers enoyed Big Macs and Egg McMuffins not knowing all the while that nuclear weapons were buried right under their feet.
Interestingly, about halfway down the tunnel is a side room that was used for early development of unclassified research that led to the discovery of the neutrino, work that later won a Nobel Prize in physics.
The site was active as recently as 2000 before the Cerro Grande fire.