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How Much Does a Nuclear Bunker Cost?

How Much Does a Nuclear Bunker Cost?

I know that even for the most committed preppers, building a nuclear bunker may sound like too much. Perhaps this is only because things are going well right now. Yet having access to a nuclear bunker in a time of war won’t sound strange at all. And it can be used as a storm shelter, a hideout, or a root cellar in times of calm.

As you can see below, getting access to a nuclear shelter will cost $0-million depending on the choice you choose to select.

Below are six good choices, starting with those that are most costly and convenient to the one that costs absolutely nothing.

Buying an Underground Luxury Apartment in a Renovated Missile Silo

$1.5 Million up to $4.5 Million

Nuclear Bunker apartament Cost

A group of Kansas investors wanted to purchase an Atlas missile silo and convert it into luxurious survival condos with everything you could possibly think of. The project was so successful that all the apartments were already sold out, and now they are renovating a second silo.

They claim to have sufficient electricity, water, air, and food infrastructure, as well as “shared or common” facilities for extended off-grid survival with community swimming pool, dog walking area, rock climbing wall, theater, general store, and an aquaponic farm, among other amenities, all of which are underground and encompassed by walls that are 2.5–9 feet thick.

So how much does a luxury underground apartment cost?

  • Nuclear apartament costHalf-Floor Units – approximately 920 sq. ft. on one level starting at $1.5 million
  • Full-Floor Units – approximately 1,840 sq. ft. on one level starting at $3.0 million
  • Penthouse Units – approximately 3,200 sq. ft. on two levels starting at $4.5 million

That’s a lot more than I can afford, but if you’re interested, you can save a spot in the second silo.

Buying an Abandoned Missile Silo

$500,000 up to $5,000,000 + Renovation Costs

Abandoned Missile Silo Cost

This can be difficult as missile silos range from Atlas E-type coffin-style bunkers to massive Titan II bunkers. All these bunkers come in with a relatively good property ranging from 10 acres to 50 acres, and most have a medium-sized house just above the bunkers.

Like the one in the photo, an Atlas F site costs around $800,000 but with almost no land included. Some 20 acres can be bought at a fair price.

Prices vary widely from site to location, from $500,000 to $5,000,000

Yet don’t get the impression it’s all luxury. On the opposite, for it to be livable, you’ll need to put in a massive amount of work and effort. And if you want to gather water, food supplies, and everything you need to stay inside for one year … my guess is that it will cost a lot more than the initial amount.

Want to buy an abandoned missile base? On 20th Century Castles or Hardened Structures, you can find properties for sale.

Buying a Pre-fabricated Bunker Ready to Be Buried

$21,500 (8×12) up to $399,000 (20×80) + Installation

Pre-fabricated Bunker Cost

When you chose not to buy a missile silo as your own nuclear bunker, you can buy a pre-made bunker instead. Most U.S. companies sell a number of bunker styles, prices vary upward from $21,000. Also, many offer funding to help you pay for the bunker.

Some examples of ready-constructed bunkers are below:

  • Risings Bunkers prices start at $39,500
  • The Urban Foxhole, mini bunker by Smart Product Technology, prices ranging from $21,500
  • Atlas Survival Shelters, are the real McCoy and tested to withstand a nuclear blast; prices start at $35,950
  • Vivos These have a massive global network of large, multi-tenant underground shelters. They work through a shared ownership model, where you apply to become a member (which is free); then, if accepted, you pay $35,000 per adult and $25,000 per child to have access to their bunkers.

If you are at the extremely wealthy end of the cash spectrum, you can pay a lot of money for a big, flashy deluxe bunker from Hardened Structures, which recently built a $90 million underground shelter that can house up to 100 people.

Related: Why You Should Have Charcoal Around Your Property?

After you have purchased the underground shelter, you may need to mount it yourself (if you have the right skills) or use a professional service. Some of the above services will offer some installation, but be sure to read the small print before you purchase to find out if there are any hidden extras are present, especially with installation costs. If you want to mount it yourself, scroll down half a page to find out the range of the cost of your digging.

Buying a Used Shipping Container and Burying It Underground

$1,450 up to $2,800 + Installation

Used Shipping Container Bunker cost

There are two major types of shipping containers:

  • 20′ shipping containers – dimensions 20′(l) x 8′(w) x 8’6″(h) – weighing around 4,600 lbs(empty). The prices for these depend on how used or rusted they are, but they start at $1,450 and can go as high as $2,500
  • 40′ shipping containers – dimensions 40′(l) x 8′(w) x 8’6″(h) – weighing around 8,120 lbs(empty). Cost: $1,800 – $2,800.

But it is a little more complicated stuff. Many used shipping containers begin bending just under a couple of inches of soil. That is why you should reinforce the sides with gabion baskets if you are really thinking of burying one.

You’ll also have to create a staircase and an exit.

Excavation Costs:

For a wide range of jobs, most excavation companies employ a machine and operator hourly ($40-$150 or more an hour). They usually bid for the entire project on residential construction, depending on the number of yards of soil to be moved ($50-$200 per yard).

Based on the local prices, the job site’s accessibility, its geology (soft soil, rough ground, boulders, etc.), and if the dirt excavated is left on site or taken away, you can expect to pay at least $400-$1,200 for a 20′ container. (Source)

All in all, this might sound convenient from a financial point of view, but wouldn’t it be cheaper to build it yourself from top to bottom?

Building a Concrete Block Nuclear Bunker

$3,380 (20′ x 8′ x 8’6″) – up to the Limits of Your Wallet and Imagination 

Concrete Block Nuclear Bunker Cost

Unlike the small rectangle of shipping container bunkers, you can create a concrete block bunker just as you want/need it.

A 20-foot long x 8.6-foot high wall includes a height of 12 blocks and a length of 15 blocks. For a wall of that scale, at $1.50 a block that is $270, so all four side walls will cost $1,080, with mortar and concrete maybe $1,200. A decent 160-square-foot slab foundation costs $800 to $1,600 (Source). The ceiling should be very strong with reinforced concrete so it will probably cost around $1,500.

With a total of $3,380, it cost more than a 20′ shipping container with exactly the same dimensions. But the structure is much stronger, and it certainly won’t bend or be crushed by a few inches of earth.

Related: Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Your State?

And while the price of constructing a bigger nuclear bunker with more containers is directly proportional to the surface you’ll have, the bigger the bunker with concrete blocks, the lower the cost per square foot is.

If you want more structural security the entire underground building can be reinforced. The floor and walls can be bound with bent 5/8 rebar and inserted into each core with grout. You may integrate H beams into the ceiling.

Sheltering in a Natural Nuclear Bunker

$0, but not necessarily your best option

Natural Nuclear Bunkers

If you think about it, there are a lot of completely free natural nuclear shelters in the US.

All you need to do is find the nearest to your house, and include it in your bug-out plan in the event of a nuclear war. Natural nuclear bunkers can be very large salt mines, some kind of mines, massive caves, or other natural structures.

Please notice that these natural nuclear shelters can only shield you from the nuclear explosion and the initial radiation explosion. You’re still going to have to go out to find food and water, and you’re still being exposed.

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