Camp century was built as part of a top secret project called Iceworm eight meters under the Ice in Greenland. It was built at the height of the cold war between the US and the USSR in 1959. Built to
be a ballistic missile site ,it's true purpose was hidden from from the Danish government who
was told that the city was being built as a research center to study the feasibility of
working under the ice.
The city was an incredible network of underground tunnels that stretched out over three kilometers.
It could accommodate over 200 soldiers and had everything you would expect a self sufficient city to have. There was a hospital,laboratories,shops, and even a cinema. Even more incredibly it was powered by the world's first portable nuclear generator.
Eventually engineers realized that the project would not work. Solid as it may seem the arctic ice is
a viscoelastic substance, a mixture of snow and ice that is constantly shifting. Inevitably the constant
shifting would warp and collapse the tunnels. So the camp was decommissioned and abandoned in 1967.
The camps infrastructure and waste which included biological chemical and radioactive waste were left behind entombed under the ice. It was presumed at the time that it would remain so forever.
However a 2016 study found that the ice sheet covering the camp will start to melt by the end of the century. At that point the waste left behind will re-enter the environment disrupt nearby ecosystems and pose new hazards.
Whose responsibility it will be to clean up the waste is unclear at this time and it could
be the cause of new political tensions between the US and Greenland.