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South Georgia Islands -54.160 -36.712 — 3,528 km² stations ~ 20 people. This location provides great difficulties and great advantages because it is both difficult to get to but at the same time, in the summer season, it is gotten to routinely. There is a small manned station Grytviken -54.28150, -36.50800 of about 20 people at this old whaling station which at one time, about 1920, had up to 300 people living there.

Thatcher Peninsula

Grytviken is an occasional destination of cruise ships for those seeking a romantic antarctic adventure. But, for a Lifehaven site it would be better to place the cave up in the hills away from the current town. Part of the reason for this is because the Brits and the Argentines have contested the sovereignty of this island, and Lifehavens are intended to avoid conflict at all cost. These sites are intended as refuges for survival, after all of the conflicting parties have either exhausted themselves, or totally annihilated one another.

Grytviken wide angle.

For more views go to the original site by clicking the pictures.

Grytviken The photo above shows the rather rusty state of Grytviken but also it shows how easy it would be to put in a many as 100 people in a survival situation for a not too protracted period of time if there were supplies.

GrytvikenGrytviken, South Georgia whaling station with cruise ship.

There are several options for this Lifehaven site which combine the advantages of some of the others. This is a possible site for beaching, and raising a retired cruise ship, and forming a large ready made survival hotel. It will be made radiation proof by burying it. It appears that there is plenty of ready made gravel for this construction purpose. Another good possibility of this site is to construct a road up the mountains several miles and build a low structure, and then cover it over with scree gravel. Of course that added weight would require some additional internal support. Quonset huts would be perfect for a cheap, almost ready-made Lifehaven. The Quonset Hut type of structure has been in use since 1941, and its many varieties, and qualities are therefore highly predictable. One advantage of going up the mountain with these huts is that with the already cold weather locally at sea level the higher elevation would give an even colder permanent freezer. The recommended permanent storage temperature is 0° to -20°C. The top of the mountains appears to have permanent snow but because there is so much rock showing the temperature has risen above freezing, and therefore this isn’t an ideal seed bank site. A storage facility with substantial insulation which opened ventilation ports when the temperature was very low in the winter and closed the ports when it was warm might prove sufficient for several year seed storage. A road appears feasible up the mountain making it inexpensive to get from the port’s docks to the higher construction site. The living structures for the people would have to be thickly insulated or course. Because, this site can be gotten to with a cruise ship it might be possible to leave the Lifehaven unpeopled except for a maintenance staff probably located back at Grytviken. This Lifehaven would be peopled only after hostilities commenced, and a few weeks would probably be available to flee to this location before radiation fallout became a serious problem.

One advantage that this remote location has over the current Svalbard Global Seed Vault is that it is not located on a top priority atom bomb target. That seed vault will literally be in several bomb craters within hours of an atomic war starting because it is the only airport on the direct route between the targets in North America and those in Europe or Asia. Don’t quibble about the Thule Air Force Base, because it won’t last ten minutes after hostilities begin. Therefore, all contending parties would be using Svalbard airport (Longyear) for an alternate landing base, and it would prove to be one of the most contested places on Earth during an atomic war with crippled planes from every nation seeking refuge there. The seed vault is located within a few hundred meters of the runway on the Google Earth map. 78.240 15.495

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

This is a screen grab from Google Earth. The blue dots are clickable photographs, in the original screen image. The orange dot is information about the airport. The lavender one is the seed vault. Hopefully Google Earth got the location wrong and the seed preservationists didn’t build their seed vault dead center on an atom bomb target! This site rates as right there with the Pentagon or Kremlin as a target. If they did build it there, they should take the very first possible opportunity to move it at least thirty kilometers (twenty miles) away. They claim to have coal to operate the freezer equipment in case of power failure, but that won’t be much help after the site gets repeatedly vaporized. I very much approve of their stashing a world saving supply of seeds, but this choice of a site was infinitely poor.

Any seed bank in the Northern hemisphere is going to be severely stressed or destroyed during a serious atomic war because aside from being destroyed outright, by being near  a city, there is the problem of the energy supply needed for refrigeration which will certainly be disrupted. And the seeds would start to wither or germinate and unless planted immediately … die.

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