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Virtual Earth map of Orford Ness - Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (Overlay)

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Orford Ness is a shingle spit on the Suffolk coast. The UK Atomic Weapons Research Establishment had a base on the site, and is believed to have developed the firing mechanisms for nuclear devices there. The distinctive-looking 'pagodas' which housed test facilities were designed to collapse in the event of an accidental explosion. The work finally ended there in 1971 and the site is now a nature reserve.
The Americans also made use of Orford Ness. In 1968 work started on the top secret Anglo-American System441A ‘over-the-horizon’ radar project, finally codenamed ‘Cobra Mist’ - this site is now used as a BBC World Service radio transmitter.


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