Earthmoving News

Iceland moves to protect power plant with dyke

With the threat of an imminent volcanic eruption in or near the Icelandic town of Grindavik remaining high, measures are underway to protect a geothermal plant

A large dyke is being built around a geothermal plant in Iceland as concern continues over a potential eruption in the town of Grindavik.

Over the past week thousands of earthquakes have occurred on the Reykjanes peninsula, with a magma tunnel thought to have formed under Grindavik, which is located around an hour south west of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.

Home to the famous Blue Lagoon thermal pool resort, Grindavik’s residents have been evacuated as faults appear in the town, with roads and buildings buckling under subsidence.

Located 6km from the town is the Svartsengi geothermal plant, which was the first plant in the world to combine the generation of electricity with the production of hot water for heating. A major asset providing heat and electricity for around 30,000 people on the peninsula, defensive measures are now underway to build a dyke around the plant and the Blue Lagoon resort to protect them from lava flows if an eruption does occur.

A bill on the Protection of Critical Infrastructures in the Reykjavik Peninsula was passed into law on Monday, with the aim to protect critical infrastructures and other items of public interest in the Reykjanes peninsula against the possible consequences of a volcanic eruption.

Iceland Justice Minister Gudrun Hafsteinsdottir reported to state broadcaster RUV that 20,000 trucks of material would be used to create the wall, which is expected to take a couple of weeks to construct.

A live earthquake map showing current seismic activity can be seen here.

Svartsengi geothermal plant
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