The secret atomby under the Greenland ice | steampunk.dk.
As the Danish Institute of International Affairs (DUPI) in 1997 were allowed to review previous classified documents in connection with the Thule-gate scandal (cleanup of a crashed American B-52 bombers with nuclear weapons in 1968) declined over a number of previously unknown security policy correspondences between Denmark and the United States from 1945 to 1968.
The issue of Greenland’s defense was a political hot potato and Americans were relatively free hand in Greenland, as long as they guaranteed the defense of Greenland, which we did not even have the capacity to defend. Officially, it was to Thule Air Base , which served as a staging post for American bombers, and monitoring and early warning related to attacks from the Warsaw Pact — in the context keen also Nike P is based-to-air missiles.
Operation Blue Jay from 1951 to 1953 — the construction of Thule Air Base
More than 120 ships brought 300k tons of gear and 12,000 men to the Greenland wilderness
The security policy at the beginning of the Cold War was adapted American wants and even though Denmark is officially not allowed deployment of nuclear weapons, then allowed to basics Americans to transport, store and deploy nuclear weapons in Greenland, as long as they went a bit quiet. After the collapse of the American bomber in 1968, had the Danish Government states that the kind of mess we would certainly like to opt out.
Some of the documents referred to work on a U.S. military installation called » Camp Century «in Northeast Greenland good 240km northeast of Thule Air Base. Camp Century was officially a research station that belonged to U.S. Army Polar Research and Development Center , but behind the climatological facade had the U.S. military all other plans with the base.
Research Station Camp Century as seen from the air in the early 1960s
Unlike the other American bases in Greenland, was Camp Century dug directly into the ice cap. A large tunnel complex linked by a 300m long ‘main street’, which was 8m wide and 9m high. Apart from the central time was different side aisles with prefabricated buildings, barracks, canteen, library, shops, post office and various laboratories and storage buildings — there was even a chapel.
Most of the time was basically covered graves where snow machines had plowed a trench, which were then sealed with corrugated iron and pelted with snow. However, there were also parts of the base were sunk directly into the ice.
The base was in reality a research station and home to a staff of just over 200 There was not asked too many questions and research purposes, but Camp Century was very interested in the ice characteristics and movement. It was in fact well aware that the ice sheet is moving, but there was no accurate data. It also did experiments with different materials to see how the ice affected them and hoped there to calculate the size of an ideal long-lasting construction.
Funnily enough was Camp Century , despite its military, one of the first real research stations for climatological research from ice cores and the collection base built is still used by scientists today.
As the attentive reader probably already figured out, it was not only interested in Greenland impressive glaciers made him tick. Behind the Camp Century facade hid there, a more serious attempt: Project Iceworm .
Iceworm was a Cold War countless nuclear weapons projects. The idea was a gigantic tunnel complex under the ice sheet, where several hundred nuclear missiles could both stored and fired. It was not just a snow cave with its medium-range missiles, but a 4000 km long network of launching silos connected by rail, so the missiles could be moved around the countryside. The planners had calculated that the entire complex would cover approx. 140,000 km2, and that it would require 11,000 men to operate the system.
Camp Century , which then was a precursor to Project Iceworm , showed that the ice sheet is not so just let themselves conquer. Work to maintain the relatively low base was excessive consuming. The people at the base moved over 120 tons of snow per month, just to keep their barracks fairly safe. They managed not to find a material or construction techniques that could withstand ice eternal movement.
The tests showed why clearly that a missile installations on the intended size would never be more than onescience fiction idea of the type of the Cold War produced in dozens. Strategic Air Command had to find another place to park their missiles.
The entrance to the Americans’ top secret Camp Century
In 1964 closed Camp Century down as second base, but worked as a summer station until 1966, when the last American soldier left the base. Without maintenance, the base times and tunnels quickly victim of the creeping ice and as a research team visited the Camp Century in 1969, the devastation so advanced that they could hardly get down the main hallway. The base was then forgotten until the Danish Foreign Policy Institute found the old murky agreements in the State Department stores.
It is uncertain how much of the base gear which is now crushed under the ice, but it is guaranteed that the ice cap unabashedly pushes the remains of Camp Century toward the sea.
A shattered residential barrack photographed during the visit in 1969
It will probably come as a surprise to many readers that we in November 1960 to 1964 had an operational nuclear power plant on Danish soil. Camp Century was in fact provided by Alco PM-2A reactor was shipped to bases in her early 60s. It was obviously not the way just to carry fuel for conventional generators 240km over the ice cap and already in the early 50s, had U.S. Army inquired about the possibility of a mini nuclear power plant at the famous Oak Rridge National Laboratory . This research resulted in the small spruce PM-2A nuclear power plant at only 800 tonnes (the world’s first portable nuclear power plant).
First, in 1960 it was $ 8.2 million animal work clearly and were transported to Greenland in the biggest secret aboard a U.S. Air Force C-130 (several times). Alco reactor could provide 1500KW and 1 million btu per hour, at the expense of well 40kg uranium per year — a sensible energy policy in relation to the 3.2 million liters of fuel a conventional generator consumed. In November inmates to the last of 37 uranium rods and power growled started: Denmark had nuclear cancer (although it was unknown among the population).
What is it of? Radioactive fuel on Danish soil in 1960
Since the Camp Century was closed one well aware that it probably was not smart enough to leave Alcoreactor to the ice cap. Normally Americans not much effort to move old stock around, but fortunately they made an exception with the Camp Century’s reactor. During the spring of 1964 the work was removed and during the summer drove a motorcade of snefartøjer off from Thule Air Base, to get the whole shebang.
Radioactive material was removed in 1964 when Camp Century begins to shut down