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The Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) is a United States Army Corps of Engineers research facility headquartered in Hanover, New Hampshiremarker, specializing in scientific and engineering research regarding cold regions of the world. Its primary mission is to enhance the military's ability to operate in cold environments, but it also works on many non-military projects.

The main Hanover facility is located on land leased from Dartmouth Collegemarker, just north of Dartmouth's main campus. CRREL also uses small satellite facilities in Alaskamarker and Vermontmarker. The Hanover facility has been designated as a Superfund cleanup site by the Environmental Protection Agency due to elevated subsurface soil concentrations of trichloroethylene and other contaminants.

CRREL was formed on 1 February 1961 from a merger of the earlier Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment (SIPRE) with the Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory. Ukichiro Nakaya from Japan attended a workshop establishing a "Snow sort committee" and SIPRE on a study tour to the United States and Canada at the invitation of the International Glaciological Society in 1949.

See also

[camp fistclench] (site II) was an early (mid 50's) camp about 400 miles NE of Thule, Greenland on the icecap. fistclench was a dual use camp, the USAF had an early warning radar here far north of the more publicized DEW line (direct early warning) the USAF contingent was also referred to as "iceworms" the unit manned their site year-round. additionally, the US Army Corps of Engineers in conjunction with S.I.P.R.E. maintained a cadre during the daylight months. (April thru Oct.) their mission was primarily to study the feasibility of constructing rooms beneath the ice that were suitable for disposal of nuclear waste. this area was chosen due to the abundance of 'tibialuminescense' in the area. this phenomona was created when the icecap which is a fluid, or more accurately a plastic form would 'roil' or 'churn' meaning over many centuries a given portion of ice would rotate from the surface to a depth of thousands of feet and then back to the surface. the ice at 'fistclench' was approx 5800 ft. thick. the pressures at those great depths created a molecular aberration in the ice that gave it the property of absorbing radiation and then slowly releasing it over a long period of time. this property was discovered when recon flights out of Thule in the dark months would see these areas having a faint blue/green glow similar to a luminescent dial on a watch. the thinking at the time was that if radioactive materials were stored there, in the event of a container failure the ice would absorb the radiation before it could escape to the atmosphere. the mission was abandoned after several years because the voids created below the surface would close up and the pressures exerted in this closing would rupture any known container. in addition, in 1957 a group of scientists came to fistclench to observe sunspot activity as a part of the international geophysical year studies.


  1. SIPRE (Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Research Establishment)

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