The storage of explosives and ammunition is a real logistical challenge for the armed forces of different countries.
Finland is a country that manages these resources especially well. The Finnish Defense Forces have ammunition depots throughout the country, in order to support them in the event of a Russian invasion. This network of depots is one of the great pillars of Finnish defence, but what about out-of-date ammunition and explosives? Keeping them would waste a lot of space, as well as entail security risks.
For years, Finland has had a place dedicated to disposing of these old explosives: the municipality of Kittilä, in the Lapland region. The word "municipality" can be misleading about what Kittilä is: it has an area of 8,263 square kilometres, so it is larger than the entire province of Madrid, but it has fewer than 7,000 inhabitants. There is a famous ski resort and the largest gold mine in Europe there. 18 kilometers to the west of this mine is the Hukkakero bomb range, belonging to the Logistics Command of the Finnish Defense Forces. The polygo's name is very suitable for its purpose: "hukkakero" is Finnish for "garbage can".
Explosive blasting in Hukkakero is done during the summer months, especially August and September, as all the roads to reach the area are dirt tracks, and in the harsh winter months of Lapland , taking trucks loaded with explosives on those roads would not be very sensible. A few days ago, the Finnish Defense Forces published the video of one of these explosive blasting (the video is in Finnish, you can activate the automatic subtitles in English in the bottom bar of the player):
You can see here some captures of the video. These are the explosives and ammunition that are blown up in one go, totaling 30,000 kilograms.
For the blasting, the Finnish military meet with countrymen from the area, in order to indicate the possible effects on the environment and livestock. The blasting is done in the midst of strict safety regulations. The Finnish Defense Forces indicate in the video that the area of the detonation has an area of 9 hectares, but the security area is 27,000 hectares (an area equivalent to 38,571 soccer fields).
Due to the colossal mushroom that causes the explosion, during blasting there is also a restriction on flight from a height of 4,200 meters (13,779 feet). Already most commercial aircraft fly at an altitude of 12,800 meters.
The blasting season this year was from August 15 to 25, with daily blasting from 08:00 to 22:00, including weekends. The temperature of the explosions reaches up to 6,000ºC (the temperature of the Sun's surface is 5,499ºC).
Here we can see the crater caused by one of the blasts. After each explosion, the area is cleaned and the metals that remain are collected for reuse in the metallurgical industry.
Don't miss the news and content that interest you. Receive the free daily newsletter in your email: