A man who feared a Cold War missile strike is selling his £350,000 house complete with a nuclear bunker capable of withstanding a one megaton blast – a bomb 80 times bigger than HIROSHIMA.
Cautious Mike Thomas, 56, built the underground bomb shelter 20ft below his kitchen in 1985 when tensions between Russia and the West were at their peak.
The 300 sq ft cavern has concrete walls which are 32 inches thick and enough food and water to sustain his family for a month.
It is the strongest privately-owned bomb shelter in Britain and can withstand a one megaton nuclear blast – much bigger than the 0.012 megaton ‘Little Boy’ dropped on HIROSHIMA.
Mike said: ”I built the shelter because I was concerned about the threat of a nuclear attack.
”Who knows what will happen in the future? It wouldn’t surprise me if there a terrorist nuclear attack within the next 15 years.
”The room is incredibly strong and has everything you need inside. If the worst did happened it is exactly where you would want to be.”
Father-of-one Mike, an electrical engineer, became obsessed with the nuclear threat when he served as a member of the Royal Observer Corps.
So he decided to build the fall-out shelter to keep his family safe at their home in Lydenford, near Brixham in Devon.
It took six months to complete with the help of a civilian engineer who built bunkers for the Ministry of Defence and cost £45,000 – or £200,000 at today’s prices.
The shelter – which did not require planning permission because it is underground – has two entrances, a shaft from the kitchen or through a fake wardrobe in the study.
Each is protected by huge steel blast doors and there is also an emergency exit in case the main doors are welded shut by the blast.
The bunker, which has six bunk beds, has its own Swiss-made ventilation system and power supply with a diesel-powered generator and numerous batteries.
It has concrete floors are covered with carpets and plywood sheets line the walls and the temperature inside remains a constant 12C.
The hideaway is lined with angle girders filled with hundreds of tons of concrete and steel reinforcing bars to create walls up to 32 inches thick.
It features a 1,400-litre water tank, toilet, a small hand basin, and a phone line.
The bunker is also stocked with enough tinned and dried food to feed Mike, his partner Mandy, 37, and son Daniel, 15, for a month.
Other mod cons include a TV and DVD player, a microwave and a range of board games and books to pass the time.
Mike claims it can withstand nuclear attack by a one megaton bomb falling a mile away, which is 80 times greater than ‘Little Boy’ which dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
He designed the shelter to ensure it would withstand an atomic bomb attack on the nearest potential military target, the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth less than two miles away.
But Mike is selling up so he can downsize to a smaller property – and no longer believes a nuclear attack is imminent.
He added: ”When I built the bunker I was a young man with my whole life ahead of me. I wanted to make absolutely sure my family was safe.
”I’m now not as fearful of a nuclear attack as I once was. I hope it can now offer another family the same peace of mind it has given us.”
However, Mike says the bunker will offer the new owners protection against the solar flare disaster which is predicted for 2013 – a giant explosion of energy from the Sun which could cause global chaos.
The phenomenon – which occurs around once every 100 years – would see radiation storms devastating communication systems and every electrical gadget in the home.
He added: ”It’s a good thing to have for any home. You can hide away inside and no radiation can penetrate it at all.
”The threat of nuclear attack is real and now we have got scientists warning that the Sun is going to explode.
”It could still be used as a panic room if someone came burgling the house. Or failing that it makes a great play room for kids.”
Mike has now put his four-bedroom house and bunker on the market for £350,000.