Visaginas community representatives would like to see the closed Ignalina nuclear power plant set up as an atomic energy museum. According to the mayor of Visaginas, money to establish a museum in the closed plant would be expected from European Union funds, lrt.lt reported on 21 August.
The Visaginas nuclear power reactors are shut down. In the upcoming year the reactor, control panels, technological lines and buildings will be disassembled. However, city leaders want the nuclear power plant buildings to be available for public use. According to the mayor, without demolishing the buildings, it should be less costly to shut down the power plant.
“To dismantle, demolish – that is a lot of money, it is better today to not dismantle and not demolish” – thinks Visaginas Mayor Dalia Štraupaitė.
“Every idea must be supported, if it will be an attraction to downtown Visaginas, it’s very good,” – said General Director of the Ignalina NPP Žilvinas Jurkša.
While the nuclear power has been turned off for more than two years, only a few manage to visit the specially protected reactor hall, to see how the atomic process is managed.
“There are a nuclear power plants, which are already inactivated, as in Austria and Germany, which have been made into museums and amusement parks, and hotels and restaurants, which are visited by people,” – tells KUT Institute of Energy Technologies Director Professor Dr. Jonas Gylys.
The leader of the companies intending to invest in a new nuclear power plant says that a museum in the former power plant buildings will have no impact.
“It is very important what the local community wants or is seeking. If the people of Visaginas want a museum, it’s an interesting idea,” – confirms Hitachi Vice President Masaharu Hanyu.
“We, Visaginas, are a regional development center. We will get funding for 2014 – 2020, and we can submit the idea to get a lot of money for the establishment of the museum, and we will not have to look for money for the closing of the Ignalina NPP. We will save money, “- says Štraupaitė.
“Speaking of Visaginas, there is high unemployment, and certainly not everyone will find their sphere of activity in the future nuclear power plant, but such a park, using the old nuclear power plant would reduce that unemployment and attract new people: traveling in from all over Lithuania and beyond,” – says Gylys.
For example, in Germany, the Kalkar nuclear power plant was transformed into a museum and is visited each year by over 600 thousand visitors.
Translated by Vytas Radze