Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 28, 2017


Seed vault to get new entry, admin building due to faults

The entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which has already spent 37 million kroner to repair leakage and drainage problem, will now be demolished and rebuilt with a waterproof door and reinforced concrete tunnel, according to Stasbygg.

In addition, a seperate administration building will be built nearby for functions such as greeting depositers so access to the vault itself is kept to a minimum. Hege Njaa Aschim, Statsbygg’s communication director, said the cost of the project is not yet known. “It costs money yes, but we don’t have that many choices,” she said. Water seepage into the vault became a notable problem last year due to record rain and warmth, and Aschim said the permafrost around the vault is failing to refreeze as the designers originally envisioned. “At that time, we assumed we had the expertise,” Aschim said. “But something has happened with the permafrost after that. Warmer climates are factors that were not taken into account during planning. We are now choosing to move on to the existing solution, but reinforcing it with a concrete tube inside the tunnel. It must be waterproof.”

Man facing drug trial sought by police after he disappears

The trial of a foreign man in his 30s caught at Tromsø Airport with 44 tablets of the drug diazepam, plus pepper spray and liquor he didn’t declare, after a flight from Longyearbyen has been canceled after he failed to show. The man declined to pay a 10,000 kroner fine, resulting in the trial being set for this month. But Nord-Troms District Court announced police have failed to locate the man, who now faces a prison sentence, and the matter is being returned to police.