Historical archive

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Repairs completed

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The outermost 5-6 metres of the access tunnel at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was exposed to settling during the summer, which led to undesired deformation of the access tunnel. The plant now appears as it did before the incident. The temporary scaffolding that was erected as a temporary repair measure has been removed, as it is no longer required.

 

Logo Svalbard Globale Seed Vault

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Repairs completed

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The outermost 5-6 metres of the access tunnel at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was exposed to settling during the summer, which led to undesired deformation of the access tunnel. The plant now appears as it did before the incident. The temporary scaffolding that was erected as a temporary repair measure has been removed, as it is no longer required.

When spring arrived in Svalbard it proved that the permafrost had not had enough time to re-establish in the masses that cover the "Svalbard tunnel", which constitutes approx. a third of the access tunnel to the actual seed vault. This led to the outermost 5-6 metres of the tunnel being exposed to settling which caused undesired visible deformations to the tunnel sections. 

     

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The access tunnel is now repaired. Photo: LMD
Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The access tunnel is now repaired. Photo: LMD

Stored securely
The situation that arose did not affect the actual seed vault, where the seeds are stored at a temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault consists of three separate mountain caverns that each has a storage capacity of 1.5 million seed samples. With the aid of the permafrost and a separate electrically powered facility powered by the local power plant, there is a stable indoor temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius. The caverns contain storage shelves where sealed boxes with seeds from gene banks all over the world are stored. The actual caverns are accessed through a 100-metre long access tunnel with a portal construction outermost.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The outermost 5-6 metres of the access tunnel at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault were exposed to settling during the summer that resulted in undesired deformations of the pipe sections. The facility now appears as it did before the incident.