A Secret Underground Vault At Los Alamos Labs

Jul 23, 2013

A tunnel and vault dug into a canyon wall in northern New Mexico that for years provided the federal government with a secret and secure place to store nuclear material during the Cold War is now a tour stop.

Los Alamos National Laboratory says the facility known as the "tunnel vault" has been declassified and is being shown on lab tours for the news media and for families of laboratory workers.

The tours are part of the lab's celebration of its 70th anniversary.

The faculty was built in 1948 and 1949. It includes a 230-foot-long concrete tunnel leading to a large room with a bank-vault door. Inside, there are five storage areas protected with identical doors.

Exterior security features include a hardened guard tower with gun ports and bulletproof glass.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.