Arctic Seed Vault Design

Posted on February 10, 2007  Comments (0)

‘Doomsday’ vault design unveiled

he Svalbard International Seed Vault will be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole. The vault aims to safeguard the world’s agriculture from future catastrophes, such as nuclear war, asteroid strikes and climate change. Construction begins in March, and the seed bank is scheduled to open in 2008. The Norwegian government is paying the $5m (£2.5m) construction costs of the vault, which will have enough space to house three million seed samples.

Dr Fowler said Svalbard, 1,000km (621 miles) north of mainland Norway, was chosen as the location for the vault because it was very remote and it also offered the level of stability required for the long-term project. “We looked very far into the future. We looked at radiation levels inside the mountain, and we looked at the area’s geological structure,” he told BBC News. “We also modelled climate change in a drastic form 200 years into future, which included the melting of ice sheets at the North and South Poles, and Greenland, to make sure that this site was above the resulting water level.”

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