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Home → November, 2008

Monthly Archives: November 2008 − News & Stories


Coal mining remains vital for Longyearbyen’s eco­no­my

A new stu­dy shows that Lon­gye­ar­by­en will depend on coal mining for a long time into the future. Even if acti­vi­ties within both research/higher edu­ca­ti­on and tou­rism were dou­bled, they could not replace mining, which crea­tes seve­ral hundred local jobs, both direct­ly and indi­rect­ly. A loss of the­se jobs would lead to signi­fi­cant loss of other func­tions inclu­ding important public ser­vices (school, …), accor­ding to a stu­dy now published by NIBR (Norsk Insti­tutt für by- og regi­on­forsk­ning = Nor­we­gi­an insti­tu­te for city and regio­nal rese­arch). 

Cen­tral in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, not only as a monu­ment: coal miner.

Coal mining remains vital for Longyearbyen's economy

Source: Norsk Insti­tutt by og regi­on­forsk­ning

New muse­um in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: Sval­bard Air­ship Muse­um will open on 15 Novem­ber

After a long time with a lot of work, the Sval­bard Air­ship Muse­um will open its doors on 15 Novem­ber. It is dediac­ted to the air­ship exped­ti­ti­ons that were laun­ched in Vir­go­ham­na (1906-09) and Ny Åle­sund to reach the North Pole. The new muse­um is loca­ted in the for­mer cow­shed (whe­re the Sval­bard­mu­se­um was until a few years ago).

The famous air­ship mast near Ny Åle­sund under con­s­truc­tion in 1926. It was used by Roald Amund­sen to launch the Nor­ge and to years later again during Umber­to Nobile’s Ita­lia-expe­di­ti­on.

New museum in Longyearbyen: Svalbard Airship Museum will open on 15 November

Source: Sval­bard Air­ship Muse­um

PCBs in Rus­si­an sett­le­ments

Scrap con­tai­ning PCB, espe­ci­al­ly con­den­sa­tors from elec­tric instal­la­ti­ons, have been remo­ved by the Rus­si­an mining com­pa­ny Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol from the sett­le­ments of Pyra­mi­den (aban­do­ned in 1998) and Barents­burg. The items have been deli­ver­ed to Lon­gye­ar­by­en for dis­po­sal. Pyra­mi­den is now belie­ved to be lar­ge­ly free of rele­vant mate­ri­als; work in Barents­burg will be continued.The items deli­ver­ed recent­ly con­tain about 30 kg of high­ly toxic PCBs. Coope­ra­ti­on is working very well, accor­ding to Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties, who are hap­py about the results achie­ved so far: a poten­ti­al source for future con­ta­mi­na­ti­on of the envi­ron­ment with dan­ge­rous sub­s­tances has been lar­ge­ly remo­ved, and fur­ther pro­gress is expec­ted for the near future.

Addi­tio­nal­ly, light ele­ments con­tai­ning mer­cu­ry have been remo­ved.

In sum­mer 2007, hig­her PCB con­cen­tra­ti­ons have been detec­ted near the sett­le­ments in Spits­ber­gen, espe­ci­al­ly near the Rus­si­an ones. 

Scrap machi­nery in Barents­burg: poten­ti­al source for dan­ge­rous envi­ron­men­tal toxins.

PCBs in Russian settlements

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen

Poli­ce report against Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te

Pro­ba­b­ly for the first time, the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te (NPI) has been repor­ted to the poli­ce by a pri­va­te per­son (Olav Vik Sol­heim) for having anes­the­ti­zed and mark­ed a lar­ge num­ber of polar bears (150-200 per year in recent years). This includes fol­lo­wing the bears with heli­c­op­ters, a pro­ce­du­re that is not exact­ly easy on the animals.Soleim cri­ti­ci­zes that the num­bers of bears mark­ed are unneces­s­a­ri­ly high and that the­re is a strong ine­qua­li­ty bet­ween dif­fe­rent actors in the field: any­bo­dy who dis­turbs a polar bear, for exam­p­le with a snow mobi­le, risks hea­vy fines.

The Sys­sel­man­nen has drop­ped the case alre­a­dy after a cou­ple of days, becau­se a punis­ha­ble offence was dee­med unli­kely and becau­se it would have been very dif­fi­cult to inves­ti­ga­te the case for the poli­ce. Sol­heim has announ­ced that he wants to take fur­ther legal steps.

Polar bear in Spits­ber­gen. He does not care if dis­tur­ban­ce is legal or not, he does not like it any­way.

Police report against Norwegian Polar Institute

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

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