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SNEAK PEEK: Look inside the new Mound Laboratories museum, which opens next week

Mound Cold War Discovery Center opens Monday in Miamisburg

Now anyone can learn about the once top-secret work that went on behind secure walls in Miamisburg. 

The Mound Cold War Discovery Center, a joint effort between Dayton History, the Department of Energy and the Mound Science and Energy Museum Association, will open Monday. 

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“I knew secret stuff happened here at the Mound, but no one ever really knew what that stuff was,” said Mandy Askins, the site manager of the new museum. “Now we can talk about it, share it with the world, and show that Dayton has a lot more history than what we even know.” 

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Mandy Askins, the site manager for the Mound Cold War Discovery Center in Miamisburg, demonstrates how Mound Laboratory employees used a glove bos to work with radioactive and dangerous materials. This is one of the interactive activities on site at the new musuem. LISA POWELL / STAFF

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Mound Laboratory was the first Atomic Energy Commission site to be constructed after World War II. The facility continued the work of the Dayton Project, which was a part of the Manhattan Project, to build the worlds’ first atomic bomb, said Askins. 

“The Dayton Project specifically processed the polonium for the initiators -- or the trigger -- that would kick start the chain reaction for the atomic bomb,” she said. 

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The Mound Cold War Discovery Center is a joint effort between Dayton History, the Department of Energy, Office of Legacy Management and the Mound Science and Energy Museum Association. LISA POWELL / STAFF

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Visitors can slip their hands into a glove box and mimic activities Mound Laboratory employees did when working with highly radioactive materials, learn about tritium employed in “glow in the dark” products and view a “bubble suit” worn by workers to protect them from radiation exposure. 

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A ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the Mound Cold War Discovery Center will be held Monday, April 23 at 10 a.m. 

Regular hours will be Wednesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment for tours and school visits. Admission is free. The museum is located at 1075 Mound Rd. in Miamisburg.

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