View Full Version : Camp Century: Thule Greenland 1958 -1967

16th Aug 2016, 07:07
I have just seen a report in some obscure Eco warrior type news blast regarding a secret base " Camp Century" based 30/40 mtrs under the Greenland Ice cap, fully contained and even had a Portable Nuclear powered power source, to supposedly be a scientific base ..but it seems as the Greenland Ice Cap is showing signs of melting ,,,and will be gone by 2099..?? the author of the report is trying to say 1950's toxins and Nuke waste will be exposed at that time once the Ice has Gone..

Can anyone fill in the correct story or is it some crank trying to take us back to making our own clothes and living in "Yurts"

16th Aug 2016, 07:19
It is all here. Looks like the reactor was portable.


16th Aug 2016, 12:46
Inside the Army’s Secret Cold War Ice Base (http://www.defensetech.org/2012/04/06/inside-the-armys-secret-cold-war-ice-base/).

Camp Century, Greenland (http://gombessa.tripod.com/scienceleadstheway/id9.html).

In seventy-seven days, the Army team assembled the prefabricated reactor. Just nine hours after fuel elements containing forty-three pounds of enriched Uranium-235 were inserted into the reactor, electricity was produced. It was soon discovered that additional shielding would be necessary. This shielding was accomplished by adding a layer of two inch thick lead bricks to the primary shield tank. Except for downtime for routine maintenance and repairs, the reactor operated for thirty-three months, until July 9, 1963, when it was deactivated pending a decision to remove it. This decision stemmed from plans to discontinue year-round operations at Camp Century to reduce costs. In addition, the tunnel support structure sheltering the reactor was suffering from reoccurring damage due to compacting snow. A conventional diesel powered plant would have consumed over one million gallons of fuel over the same period. While the power plant was designed to provide 1560 kilowatts of power, Camp Century's power needs peaked at 500 kilowatts, and gradually declined from there. During the reactors operational life, a total of 47,078 gallons of radioactive liquid waste was discharged into the icecap. The PM-2A was removed in the summer of 1964 by the 46th Engineers based at Fort Polk, Louisiana. No military service was willing to accept the plant at another location so the PM-2A's components were put into storage. The reactor vessel was subjected to destructive testing in order to study neutron embrittlement of carbon steel. Phillips Petroleum Company conducted the testing for the US Atomic Energy Commission in 1966. After extreme testing, it was found to be much more durable than expected. Failure of the vessel finally occurred at minus twenty degrees Fahrenheit and 4,475 pounds per square inch pressure after hydrochloric acid was added to a machined defect.

The inability of the Army to resite the Camp Century power plant foreshadowed the end of the Army's Nuclear Power Program.

John Hill
16th Aug 2016, 20:27
The one they installed in the Antarctic proved unreliable and when decommissioned after only half its design life was found to have leaked and contaminated the surrounding gravel.

Loose rivets
16th Aug 2016, 22:39
Such a shame the science can't be mastered. Cosmology alone at the South Pole is worth a major investment in life support. However, putting an unknown tonnage of fresh water at risk is wholly unacceptable.

17th Aug 2016, 00:16
That is fascinating.
The more that emerges about the Cold War - the more you realise it drove scientific and technological experimentation to extraordinary degrees.
See here (http://gombessa.tripod.com/scienceleadstheway/id9.html)for photos.