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Demolition of the old Power Plant
South Pole Station - Antarctica

Demolition of the old Power Plant, inside the Old Power Plant Arch. A new power plant was built around 2000. This old power plant was demolished as part of a project to refit the Arches.

In this particular case, the connectors between the Old Power Plant Arch and the Fuels Arch on one side and the Old Garage Arch on the other were removed, the Power Plant Arch raised to match the other two arches which had already been raised in previous years, and the three in-line arches were joined together to form one new continuous arch that houses Fuels at one end, and will house Cargo and Logistics in most of the rest of the arch.

The hope is to replace the Berms (lines of material, like an open-air warehouse, downwind of the station) by removing old, unusable supplies to the United States, and putting the rest here. No one at the station really thinks that can be done, but it will still be good to have more materials available close at hand during the winter months. In addition to the three in-line arches that have now been combined into one, there are two other arches parallel on either side of one end of the long arch - the New Garage Arch and the New Power Plant Arch.

As regards the Old Power Plant, note the "building in a box" design. The temperature of the ice is around -50 C year round, and a building directly in the ice could not be kept warm - but with this method, a well-insulated building is built inside the arch, and raised off the "ground" level. This building can be kept warm, and the air around it - though cold - acts to insulate the building from the ice. Also, though quite cold, the air here is nowhere near as cold as it is outside during the winter, meaning it is much easier to move between buildings, get supplies stored in the arch, and so forth.

Nov 2007

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This picture published courtesy of Alan Light - This picture is in the public domain.
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