Tags: norway | doomsday | vault | upgrade

Norway Spending $12.7 Million Upgrading 'Doomsday' Seed Vault

Image: Norway Spending $12.7 Million Upgrading 'Doomsday' Seed Vault

An exterior view of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the secure seed bank on Svalbard, Norway, March 2, 2016.(Heiko Junge/ NTB scanpix via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 February 2018 07:41 AM

Norway plans to spend $12.7 million upgrading its "doomsday" seed vault, which was built 10 years ago to protect the world's crops and plants from being wiped out in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, such as nuclear war or global warming.

According to a statement issued by the Norwegian government, the work will include building a new concrete access tunnel for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, along with a new service building to house emergency power and refrigeration units and electrical equipment to emit heat through the tunnel, The Verge is reporting.

"It is a great and important task to safeguard all the genetic material that is crucial to global food security," Norway's minister of agriculture and food, Jon Georg Dale said in the statement.

The vault was built 10 years ago in an abandoned Arctic coal mine, and stores and safeguards the plants and seeds. If crops are killed from natural or man-made disasters, governments can seek the seeds or plants they need to restart their countries' agricultural industries, in hopes of preventing famine.

Dale said the work on the vault, which is located on an island in the Svalbard archipelago between Norway and the North Pole. The vault currently holds more than 890,000 samples from most of the world's countries, and includes seeds from crops such as corn, rice, wheat and potatoes.

Seeds were withdrawn for the first time from the vault in 2015, when they went to create new seed banks in Morocco and Lebanon when the region's former seed bank in Aleppo, Syria were damaged during the country's ongoing civil war.

Since then, those seeds were regrown and the samples were replaced at the Norwegian vault.

Meanwhile, the vault itself was almost the victim of global warming last year, when permafrost melted and leaked in. However, the water didn't flood the vault itself.

The same island also houses the World Data Archive, which keeps vital documents from around the world stored on reels of special optical film.

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Norway plans to spend $12.7 million upgrading its "doomsday" seed vault, which was built 10 years ago to protect the world's crops and plants from being wiped out in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, such as nuclear war or global warming.
norway, doomsday, vault, upgrade
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2018-41-27
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 07:41 AM
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