From Iceland — Preparations Underway To Protect Hot Water Pipelines Amid Possible Eruption

Preparations Underway To Protect Hot Water Pipelines Amid Possible Eruption

Published November 8, 2023

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Due to the possible eruption in the Reykjanes Peninsula, authorities have started transporting building materials to defend hot water pipelines in the area. The pipelines originate from the Svartsengi Power Plant, moving hot water throughout the region. In the event of an eruption, the pipelines could be severely compromised, halting water supply and electricity to nearby communities.

Running from the Svartsengi plant to the town of Njarðvík is the pipeline Njarðvíkuræð, which authorities plan to preserve. In an interview with RÚV, civil engineer and project leader of the Infrastructure Defence programme Ari Guðmundsson stated that defence preparations had begun to save Njarðvíkuræð.

Last weekend, building material was collected and placed near the pipeline.

Increased safety concerns

Although three eruptions have occurred in the Reykjanes — in 2021, 2022 and 2023 — all of them were conveniently located near Fagradalsfjall. Nestled within the mountain range, no critical infrastructure or settlements were threatened by the three eruptions.

Earlier in the week, the town of Grindavík published three evacuation routes for its inhabitants. Despite increased safety concerns, the popular tourist destination the Blue Lagoon has not suspended its operations. Sitting beside the Svartsengi plant, the luxury spa is in critical danger if an eruption begins. Suðurnes Police Chief Úlfar Lúðvíksson has stated that he considers it irresponsible for the Blue Lagoon to continue regular operations.

Tour company Kynnisferðir announced on Nov. 6 it would be temporarily stopping its tours to the Blue Lagoon in the interest of safety.


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