Lt. Luis Carvajal Villarroel Base of the Chilean Air Force, who will act as support for the evacuation to the interior of the Antarctic territory during the summer, will be one of the first to undertake renovation work on the Antarctic infrastructure as part of a plan that includes a project to be updated .
The Yelcho bases, a strategic point for the development of Chilean Antarctic science managed by INACH, and the aforementioned Carvajal are considered the first two to renovate their infrastructure that has been in existence for more than 30 years. The bases are built with technologies that are out of date and therefore urgently need renovation (). They are made from materials that were used in the 80s and no longer, both because of the risk of fire and because of some of the contained components that are now considered toxic, such as the paintings. There are some things that have changed and there is the search for the zero footprint, stressed El Mercurio, Marcelo Leppe, director of the Chilean Antic Institute (Inach), when explaining the ambitious project to improve infrastructure. Also make it clear that the idea is not to increase the dimensions so much, but to improve the conditions
According to the report, the new infrastructure must meet energy efficiency standards that are fully functional for scientific research and require less maintenance. One of the biggest problems with the current facilities is electrical accidents leading to fires, which more commonly affect Antarctic bases and cause destruction fairly quickly, he said.
In this way, he indicated that we have placed the tender for the design of the Yelcho and Carvajal bases, which will be ready by the end of the year. You would be the first to go into the renovation and then (the base) Escudero. The first is in the middle of the Antarctic Peninsula in the coastal zone, and the second, belonging to the Chilean Air Force (FACh), is a base far south in Baha Margarita, explained Leppe, who added that we hope it will will be a common polar base within the Arctic Circle in the next few years.
The tender rules for the new design set the requirement to use renewable energy, treat almost all waste, including gaseous waste, that is emission-free, and try to ensure clean production, he added.
Regarding the Carvajal base, Leppe emphasized that it is a very important place due to climate change and will give Chile the opportunity to enter the selected group of countries that have permanent bases within the Arctic Circle.
You want the new design to be operational year round as it is a temporary base today. The idea is that it will be a permanent base for about 60 researchers, since in winter there will be at least 12 employees up to 15 people.
The Carvajal Base was inaugurated in 1985 and its name comes in honor of Lieutenant Luis Carvajal Villarroel, who tragically was the first deceased Air Force to enter service due to activities in Antarctica.
Chile has had a presence in the Antarctic through its bases for 71 years, so these facilities must comply with the current environmental principles of the Antarctic. In this context, the Antarctic Environmental Protection Protocol provides that Antarctic bases as well as tourist expeditions and other activities carried out there have a behavior that is adapted in order to reduce the environmental impact to a minimum. (Pamela Squella)
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