From top secret bunker to tourist attraction: take a tour inside ex-Chinese nuclear military base now open for visitors

China’s 816 Nuclear Plant in Chongqing includes the world’s largest artificial cave

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 11:36am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 11:36am

It was once a top-secret underground base. Now China’s 816 Nuclear Plant in Chongqing has reopened as a tourist attraction after a year of renovations.

Twenty kilometres of roads and tunnels link 18 artificial caves, with one - 79.6 metres high - the world’s largest.

Up to 60,000 men worked on the construction of the plant, which began in 1966 when Sino-Soviet relations declined.

Work continued until 1984 when the project was cancelled.

The site was first opened to tours in 2010.

Foreign tourists are also now allowed to visit the site, which was built to produce plutonium-239 but never contained any nuclear material.