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816 Nuclear Military Plant - World’s Largest Artificial Cave

Hidden in Fuling District, Chongqing, China, 816 Nuclear Military Plant strikes the world not only because it’s the world largest artificial cave, but also for its unveiled structure of the real nuclear plant (radiationless for no manufacture happened). You would meet the tens of kilometers long cave, multiple paths inside and a lot of unbelievable parts in the 816 Underground Project. As in the list of 20th century’s architectural heritages in China, this plant is really great for visiting, education and knowledge enrichment.

Why Was 816 Nuclear Military Plant Built

In 1960s, after the proposal of building the own military rear of each province by Chairman Mao, over 4 million officials, scholars, workers, etc. went to the plain southwestern and north western China to build plants for war preparation. In such background, the 816 Nuclear Military Plant was constructed severely secretly under the order of the Prime Minister Zhou Enlai from 1966. Until 1984, the whole project was urgently halted by the government, when 85% of the architecture project and 65% of installation project has been finished. Until 2004, 816 Nuclear Military Plant was agreed by the state to be decrypted, and in 2010, it was first opened to the public as a tourist place, thus people from the whole world could visit it to know its construction and the background history of that time in China and the world.

816 Nuclear Military Plant

816 Nuclear Military Plant

Spelunk 816 Nuclear Military Plant

Costing 746 million Yuan, equal to that of the Three Gorges Dam nowadays, 816 Nuclear Military Plant is an artificial miracle with a lot amazing points to admire. Since only some parts of this plant are opened to the public at present, visitors could enjoy the highlights such as the Nuclear Reactor, outstanding skills of the construction, and so on.

World Largest Artificial Cave

The whole cave was constructed into over 20 kilometers long, with 19 large-scaled caves, over 130 diverse paths, tunnels, shafts, etc. With over 79.6 meters in height and 9 floors, the cave is mainly as high as a 30-floor high building, even with elevators applied. This cave project is like a drawer that gives many surprises during your tour, with your finding there are caves in buildings and buildings appear in caves, like a maze. Once visitors enter the cave, they would find this megaproject really amazing.

Nuclear Reactor Hall

In this hall, the “bottom of the pot” for doing the nuclear reaction with a diameter of over 20 meters could be clearly viewed on the 8th floor. On the 9th floor displays the most advanced computer and instruments at that time, which was planned to supervise and control the nuclear reaction. All the advanced techniques of China and the patriotism of the soldier and contributors can be imagined now.

Project Working Demonstration

Using the green lights at the “bottom of the pot”, visitors could see the imitating lights of the nuclear reaction on the 3rd floor of 101 zone. Furthermore, a lot of blue and red LED lights lines and belts could be appreciated in the water division cave, from which visitors could know clearly about the water supply system of the whole project. besides, other key parts of 816 Nuclear Military Plant are presented with lights, such as the pipelines, electricity supply, ventilation, tunnel ways, etc., therefore, people would get the layout and excellent design of the project from that time.

Moreover, many historical relics and some items of soldiers are also displayed in the cave for your better understanding of the background history and the stories of those contributing great people to their nation

816 Nuclear Military Plant

Nuclear Reactor

816 Nuclear Military Plant

Lights in 104 Cave

816 Nuclear Military Plant

Central Control Room

Location & How to Get There

816 Nuclear Military Plant is constructed in Baitao Street of Fuling District in Chongqing, China (中国重庆市涪陵区白涛街道), which needs about 2 hours’ driving from Chongqing downtown. However, to visit this great project, the best and recommended way is to take a Yangtze River cruise that offers the shore excursion visit to the project with nice tourist guide and convenient transfer services. Check more information about Chongqing Transportation Guide | How to get to & around Chongqing.

816 Nuclear Military Plant
816 Nuclear Military Plant Location Map

Yangtze River Cruises to 816 Nuclear Military Plant

In the whole year of 2022, Yangtze Explorer is the only one Yangtze River cruise newly offers the unique excursion visit to the 816 underground project in Chongqing. You could check the detailed itinerary, cruise calendar and other information of Yangtze Explorer to enjoy a great Yangtze Cruise sailing with the nuclear military plant.

Note: Since there has no nuclear reaction or manufacture happened, this whole cave has no radiation. Visitors do not have to worry about that. If you have any questions about 816 Nuclear Military Plant, please feel free to ask our professional travel expert for help.

Top Yangtze River Ships to 816 Nuclear Military Plant


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Questions & Discussions

Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.

Physical Fitness
If you are on a 4 wheeled rollator (walker) is this trip feasible?
2018-05-23 13:39
Hello Ginger,

Greetings from China! Since there are some stairways at the 816 Nuclear Military Plant, if you walk on a rollator, we do not suggest you go there in case of emergency accident. However, you could visit the Baiheliang Underwater Museum. Since provides elevators and barrier-free access, you could know the history and amazing inscriptions for water level measuring left from the ancient years with much better experience.

Have a nice trip!

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