PROJECT ICEWORM - A SECRET UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR CITY IN THE ARCTIC
Built as part of a top secret US Army project called Project Iceworm Camp Century was constructed and secreted eight meters under the Arctic ice in Greenland which at the time was a country of Denmark. It was built to be a ballistic missile site with the capacity to house over 600 ballistic missiles when it was completed.
They year was 1959, and the cold war between the US and the USSR was at it's heights. The true function of the site was not revealed to the Danish government at that time, they were told the city was being built to study the feasibility of working under the ice and for research purposes.
Stretching out over three kilometers the city was an amazing network of icy tunnels that had everything a self-sustaining city would be expected to have. Amenities included a hospital, shops, laboratories and even a cinema. Incredibly it was also powered by the world's first mobile nuclear power generator.
The project was eventually given up as engineers soon realized it could not work. Arctic is is a viscoelastic material, a combination of snow and ice that is constantly in motion.
That continuous motion would inevitably cause the tunnels to be warped and collapse.
They decommissioned and abandoned the project in 1967 leaving the infrastructure and various waste materials to be entombed in the snow for what they hoped would be forever. The waste included biological, chemical and radioactive waste materials.
In a more recent development 2016 a study discovered that the ice sheet that covers the site would begin melting before the end of the century. This will cause the toxic waste materials left behind to re-enter the environment disrupt the ecosystem and pose new threats.
It remains unclear at this time who will eventually be responsible for cleanup of the site.
Denmark originally allowed the US to build the site in a 1951 agreement, Greenland has become self-governing as of 1979, and this issue could cause new tensions between the US and Greenland.
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