Chinese government officials have announced plans to spend roughly one million dollars to open the former atomic bomb test site Malan Base in the remote Uighur Autonomous Region. The Telegraph reports that the site is of particular interest because the base is where Chinese scientists developed their first atomic bomb, which was detonated nearby in 1964.
A few years after those first tests, China exploded an atomic bomb at the Lop Nur Test Range. Some scientists credit subsequent tests in the area with thousands of deaths and strange local genetic mutations.
The new tourist attraction will, according to UPI, include laboratories, dormitories and a 1000-foot-long underground air raid shelter. The project is being managed by local government actors working with Beijing's Tsinghua University.
Since 2004, China's Communist Party has been advocating for Red Tourism, a trend that has seen thousands and thousands of Chinese nationals visiting sites of historical significance to the modern country. Though other sites like Jinggang Mountain, where Mao Tse-tung founded the Red Army, have become quite popular, the popularity of the Malan Base may be tempered by inconvenience. Uighur Autonomous Region is in the far western part of China and is populated largely by a racial minority that has not traditionally had cordial relations with Beijing.
Check out some former nuclear test sites below.