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Tours of Debert bunker being offered


DEBERT, N.S.

People don’t often have the chance to explore a real-life nuclear bunker, but that’s something that can now be done in Debert.

Tours of the bunker are being offered, beginning Nov. 24.

“I live in Debert, and I used to walk on the roads here and say how cool it would be to get into the bunker,” said Kelly Caddell, who recently began working at the site as a bunker experience representative. “I’ve learned a lot since coming here, and it’s really interesting.”

Tours will include several areas, including the room that’s called ‘the forgotten room,’ because it was forgotten when renovations were done. It still includes a bunk bed, lockers and wall storage boxes.

The bunker was used by military and civilian personnel for about 30 years, and includes a large room which held computers. Halon gas stored under the floor could be sent up through vented tiles if a fire broke out in the room.

There are areas used by NORAD, and provincial and regional agencies. Visitors can walk through the decontamination area, where people would have been required to shower and strip off clothing if a nuclear attack had occurred.

The 63,000-square foot bunker had 49 bedrooms and was designed to house 350 people. It was built with a continuous air flow system that still operates today.

“It’s unreal how many rooms there are, and there are a lot of myths about tunnels and rooms that still remain hidden,” said Caddell.

A large cafeteria has been converted into a movie room with a large screen. Spooky movies were shown around Halloween, and Christmas ones are coming up.

Seven bunkers were built across Canada during the late 1950s-early1960s. They were called Diefenbunkers because they were part of a national defense strategy ordered by John Diefenbaker while he was serving as prime minister.

Tour dates will be available throughout the year, but tickets are being offered for $11 during the month of Nov. Tours take about an hour, and include no more than 15 people. Tickets can be purchased on the Enter the Bunker website at https://www.enterthebunker.com/bunker_tours/

lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

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