If we can’t control the Tesseract’s energy there may not be a minimum safe distance.
JDEM – Exterior
In the New Mexico desert, SHIELD agents are secretly working on creating an energy source from the Tesseract (recovered in Captain America: The First Avenger). The Joint Dark Energy Mission: Western Division aka Project Pegasus, was filmed on a High School campus in Albuquerque, NM, one of four locations that make up this secret base. Atrisco Heritage Academy High School was used for the exteriors of the facility, including the aerial shots.
JDEM – Interior
When the tesseract activates itself, Nick Fury calls for an evacuation of the base. Loki emerges from the portal, takes control over Dr Selvig and Hawkeye and destroys the facility. For the scenes inside the JDEM, the crew filmed at the Plum Brook Station, which is a NASA test facility outside Cleveland, OH.
JDEM – Loading Dock
Maria Hill sees Hawkeye loading some strange cargo into truck, just before she gets word from Director Fury that Agent Barton has been turned. According the the Art of The Avengers book, the loading dock scene near the Tunnels was shot at the loading dock of the Albuquerque Convention Center.
JDEM – Tunnels
Hill engages in pursuit of the rogue Agent Barton, through a series of twisty and dark tunnels under the facility. The tunnels underneath the JDEM were filmed at the Creekside Mushroom Farm, outside Worthington, PA.
(The Avengers, 2012)