Norway says no to Chinese radar on Svalbard

The two current EISCAT radars at Svalbard. With a 32 and 42 meter span, the proposed radar would have been slightly larger with a 50 meter span. Photo: Bjoernvedt @ WikiCommons

The two current EISCAT radars at Svalbard. With a 32 and 42 meters in diameter, the proposed radar would have been slightly larger with a 50 meter span. Photo: Bjoernvedt @ WikiCommons

A proposed radar mainly funded by the Chinese that was to study the polar atmosphere and solar winds, will not be built at Svalbard.

After an overall assessment from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research it is decided that Norway will not approve the construction of a new radar with a 50 meter span on Svalbard, national Norwegian broadcaster NRK reports.  The project was proposed by China through the international research organization EISCAT.

The spokesperson of the Norwegian Minstry of Education and Research do not wish to comment on what their overall assessment includes, but Tor Bjørn Arlow who is an expert on Svalbards history and a senior adviser at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology thinks that there are both academic and political reasons behind the refusal.

“It is easy to believe that the difficult political climate between Norway and China has made the Norwegian authorities more reluctant to approve this kind of facility on Svalbard,” he tells NRK

Read more: China stops import of Norwegian salmon

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