Nuclear Shelter

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This nuclear bunker was used during the Cold War in the former Soviet-Union to shelter civilians in the event of a nuclear attack. This bunker is located in a large city and can accommodate 1800 people.


This type of bunkers were built under almost every large government building at the time of the cold war. They are completely self-sufficient. Thick steel doors isolate the bunkers from the outside world.


By means of overpressure, harmful radioactive dust is kept outside the bunker. The overpressure also offers protection against chemical weapons. Only the outlets of these air treatment systems in the vicinity of the building indicate a possible bunker that is present underneath.

In the many rooms for the staff you can find portraits of Lenin everywhere.


The life support systems are able to provide protection for 40 days without contact with the outside world. Research indicates that after 40 days after the fall of an atomic bomb it is reasonably safe to go outside again. Reasonable in this case is a relatively relative concept.


These kinds of bunkers are very present in the big cities that were part of the former Soviet Union. In the city where we were there are a total of 400. The shelters can also be found at metro stations. In the event of a nuclear or chemical threat, doors are opened in the metro station and people can look for safe accommodation.


There are various spaces in the bunker, namely:

  • a sickbay
  • room with air-freshening equipment
  • school for kids
  • storage with gas masks
  • storage with food and fresh water
  • communication rooms
  • toilet and shower rooms
  • sleeping accommodations


Placards with instructions are hanging on almost every wall. These placards are all handwritten and drawn. They are all still in their original state and are probably of great historical value. On the placards you will find instructions about:

  • how to pack a suitcase as efficiently as possible
  • to offer first aid such as, for example, to tie down and care for an amputated leg
  • how to use a gas mask
  • lists of things that you have to take with you if the bunker has to be abandoned
  • how big the impact of a nuclear bomb is and how far the radiation reaches
  • how to get food and fresh water

Test kits are available everywhere that can be used to assess which chemical has been used in a chemical weapon. The test can show which measures can be taken against it.


There is a room with a diesel generator for the required electricity. The space next to it is equipped with a storage tank for diesel and offers sufficient stock to power the bunker for 40 days.

Everywhere in the bunker there are large crates with sufficient gas masks for 1800 people. These gasmasks are know to contain asbestos which can cause deadly lung-cancer.


There are sufficient radiation meters available


Telephones can be found everywhere in the rooms for the commanders. These phones sometimes have only one button. Would it be a direct line to the kremlin?


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