National Atomic Testing Museum in Vegas looking for new home

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Atomic Museum Relocating

In this Monday, June 10, 2019 photo, a visitor tours the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. Officials at the museum say they have outgrown their space east of the Las Vegas Strip and is looking for a new location to expand its nuclear testing exhibits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas has outgrown its space east of the Las Vegas Strip, according to museum officials, who are looking for a new location to expand the facility's nuclear testing exhibits.

The museum, which opened in 2005 and became affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution in 2011, chronicles the development of atomic weapons and Nevada's history hosting above-ground tests for the weapons for decades.

"The museum has been in the same location for the past 15 years now. We've basically outgrown it," Jordan McGee, the museum's director of education, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We have more stories to tell."

The museum's displays include radiation detectors, a simulator for an atmospheric test blast and pop culture memorabilia from the atomic age.

It is run by the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy pays the museum's lease, which is up in three years.

McGee did not have details about where the museum might relocate.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she would like to see the facility move downtown near the Mob Museum, which document's the area's past in organized crime.

"I've been trying to bring anything historic down into the heart of downtown for years, and what more significant museum could there be than the National Atomic Testing Museum?" the mayor said.

Nevada lawmakers passed a bill that would allow the museum to get a $1 million matching fund grant from the state. Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the bill Thursday.