Greenland has asked Denmark to clean up an abandoned under-ice missile site as well as other abandoned U.S. military installations. In a deal brokered in 1951, NATO member Denmark allowed the U.S. to build 33 bases and radar stations in the former Danish province. The deal didn’t specify any protocol for clean-up, however.
Greenland local politicians have asked Denmark to remove all of the material that the United States abandoned after the end of the Cold War — including Camp Century, a never-completed cover site for the nuclear missile deployment aimed at the Soviet Union.
Built under the ice cap in northwestern Greenland to test sub-ice construction techniques during 1959-’60, Camp Century was considered to be “top secret.” Unofficially, the camp was going to be a hidden launch site for ballistic missiles. The project was abandoned in 1966 because the ice cap began to crush the camp. The U.S. did remove a portable nuclear reactor, but abandoned an estimated 200,000 liters of diesel oil and sewage, as well as the structures themselves.
At a meeting on Nov. 17, 2016, in Nuuk, the Greenland capital, Denmark’s Environment Ministry said it was investigating the environmental risks of the abandoned camp.