The Lithuanian Council for Culture supported the restoration of the model of the Ignalina NPP
The restoration of the model of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP), preserved at the Museum of Energy and Technology in Vilnius, has received funding from the Lithuanian Council for Culture.
The team of the Museum of Energy and Technology applied to the programme “Memory Institutions: Development of Innovative Services”. The application included letters of support from the NuSPACES team and Miles Oglethorpe, president of The International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage (TICCIH).
The Museum of Energy and Technology houses an original model of the INPP dating from the 1980s. It is a distinctive object of nuclear cultural heritage with historical significance, technological and cultural value both nationally and internationally. Created for the only nuclear power plant in Lithuania, the model tells of the complex history of nuclear energy in the country. It is also a material culture of the Cold War era, illustrating the nuclear power plants of the Soviet RBMK reactors. The exhibit is a valuable educational tool for demonstrating nuclear power generation and discussing broader energy issues with museum visitors.
Today, the legacy of the nuclear industry is increasingly recognised as a significant heritage of cultural value as part of the industrial heritage of many countries around the world. Lithuania’s nuclear heritage has long been of interest to local and international scholars, heritage specialists and artists. The Museum of Energy and Technology and its INPP model, are an important part of this process. In 2020, the museum hosted an international contemporary art exhibition, ‘Splitting the Atom’, dedicated to the global theme of nuclear science and technology. The INPP model plays an important role in the internationally acclaimed experimental work ‘Burial’ (2022) by artist Emilija Škarnulytė.
The decision by the Lithuanian Council for Culture to support the restoration of a model is a positive sign of the nuclear object’s recognition as a cultural heritage object.