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Nellis Air Force Base Nuclear Weapons Storage Facility, North Las Vegas

Just off Interstate 15, north of Las Vegas, is a storage facility currently holding over 200 nuclear weapons. When nuclear weapons were being tested at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), this is where those weapons were kept prior to being transported to the NTS.

Officially known as Area 2 of Nellis Air Force Base, this nuclear weapons storage installation is located about a mile north of the main Nellis site. In addition to being a storage facility for nuclear and “unconventional” (whatever that means) weapons, Area 2 is also the site of a minimum-security federal prison.

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What’s There: The nuclear weapons are kept in numerous underground bunkers covered with earth; from a distance, they resemble the burial mounds created by Native Americans. Several tall security fences surround these bunkers; presumably the fences are electrified. Floodlights illuminate the entire area at night, and what appear to be security cameras and motion detectors are along the fence. The federal prison is located away from the nuclear weapons storage area.

Getting a Look Inside: There is no public admittance to this facility and trespassing is prohibited. However, it is very well lit at night and easily visible from Interstate 15.

Unusual Fact: According to former Air Force personnel who have been assigned here, each nuclear warhead is stored inside a heavy lead container resembling a coffin. Who says the Top Secret Government doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Getting There: Area 2 is located northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15 and becomes visible soon after the intersection with Ann Road. It is located away from the highway, however, and you’ll need binoculars to get a good look during the day. As noted above, it is easily spotted at night because of the security lighting.

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