Jeffrey LewisMy Summer Vacation Redux

Some of you may remember that, over my summer vacation, I visited the first Chinese nuclear weapons design base, in Qinghai Province. (See What I Did Over Summer Vacation: China’s Los Alamos July 6, 2005).

A loyal reader notes that the Chinese government is spending more than $10 million to renovate the site.

Who wants to go with me?

Funds given to former nuclear base

THE central government has decided to spend 93 million yuan (US$11.6 million) to better protect the country’s first nuclear weapons research and production base in Qinghai Province, according to official sources.

The money will be used to build exhibition halls, renovate ruins of the former atomic bomb base and improve the surrounding environment, according to the Qinghai Provincial Cultural Heritage Bureau.

The publicity department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee has decided to allocate 10 million yuan towards the project.

Covering more than 1,100 square kilometers in northwestern China, the former atom bomb base was the birth place of the country’s first atomic and hydrogen bombs. It was built in 1958. The government closed it in 1987 to support demands for the destruction of all nuclear weapons in the world. The retired atom bomb base was handed over to the provincial government in 1993.

Xihai Town, the current name for the base, will be turned into an exhibition center on the birth and growth of China’s atom and hydrogen bombs, said an official.

“The retired base was expected to become a platform for spurring the patriotic spirit of the general public,” said Ma Weimin, deputy head of the Qinghai Provincial Cultural Heritage Bureau.


  1. Haninah

    Sounds great – if going there wont cause leukemia.

  2. Akash

    Well Jeff, you are going to have two headed kids.:-)