News story, 22.09.2008

Published during: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher: Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Status: Archived

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Supplementary work has started


Logo Svalbard Globale Seed Vault

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Supplementary work has started


Svalbard Global Seed Vault: "When spring arrived in Svalbard, it was apparent that the permafrost had not had time, between the completion of the construction of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and the end of winter, to re-freeze the loose soil and rock that had been replaced around the entrance to the Seed Vault. The result was that the tubing lining the first five to six meters of the tunnel, closest to the entrance door, was damaged.

The outermost part of the pipe is unearthed currently and new sections have been ordered from the Norwegian mainland.  Statsbygg, the Norwegian government¹s Directorate of Public Construction and Property that managed the construction, will begin the replacement work at the end of September, as soon as the new sections arrive in Svalbard. The soil and rock on top of the tunnel will be replaced after the tunnel repairs are complete. The tunnel should therefore be ready for the coming winter season during which the permafrost will have a full winter to re-establish itself around the entrance in a stable and lasting manner.
The rest of the tunnel and the rooms in which the seeds are stored are unaffected, and the seeds remain frozen at a steady minus 18 degrees Celsius (minus 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature. Even before the coming winter, the permafrost begins five to six meters from the entrance and the seeds are stored 120 meters further inside the mountain.

We will continue to keep this section of the Web site updated with the progress of the repairs."