There are two reasons you aren't allowed to bring cameras, cell phones (phone part is fine, but they have cameras), binoculars, video recorders, etc.
- First, there are sensitive projects relating to national security ongoing at the site. Photos of our expertise at detecting and thwarting terrorist plots don't need to get circulated around to people who might not have our best interests at heart. Various local and federal agencies and businesses conduct training exercises and research at the site. While there would be no issue whatsoever in photographing sites of the nuclear tests or even the equipment used for the tests, it would be too hard to control photography of other areas.
- Now, of course the more interesting reason why you aren't allowed to take photos at the Nevada Test Site is because its neighbor, Area 51 or Broom Lake or whatever you wish to call it, doesn't want you to take pictures of its projects. What projects? Well, they develop some of the latest and greatest aircraft. The US has never been keen on having pics of its cutting edge tech making the rounds. And, who knows? Maybe you've got aliens or alien technology there. People joke about it, but if you ever visit the site or the Area 51: Myth or Reality? exhibit at the National Atomic Testing Museum, you might have some things to think about. The Public Reading Room, located in the same building, has some intriguing declassified documents, too.
Visit the Nevada Test Site | Trinitite Radioactive Glass from the Trinity Test