Tourism in a nuclear power plant

By | Category: Travel destinations

We are all aware of the value of linking a destination to a film or television series. Those destinations lucky enough to entice a filmmaker to base a story there can look forward to a windfall lasting not just during the life of the series but for years if not decades afterwards,

art of the Ignalina Nuclear Plant © Lithuania Travel

But would a series about a nuclear disaster encourage you to visit a nuclear power plant. The Lithuanians think it will.

Chernobyl was a disaster that scared the world back in 1986. This Soviet Union facility – now in Ukraine – is still highly contaminated and the effects will be monitored for years to come.

Back in 2011, tourists were allowed to visit near the site for the first time.

For the new US series made by HBO – Chernobyl – the people behind the series couldn’t use Chernobyl so went to the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania. Most of the action scenes were filmed there because the Ignalina plant is from the sae era as Chernobyl.

The success of the series has brought about an interest in fans visiting the film locations so Iganlina is on their visit list.

It helps that it isn’t too far away from the Lithuanian capital – Vilnius making it an ideal half day excursion.

As interest in the series began, the authorities at Ignalina developed more tours to the plant’s reactor room, turbine room, and block control panel.

But it isn’t something that you can just turn up and see. Tours need to be booked in advance and there are strict limits to the number of people on each tour and each day.

In the last twenty-four years about 100,000 people have visited the site. With its new appeal stemming from the series, that number will radically increase.

Having lived through the new stories about Chernobyl at the time, I am not sure I won’t to get close to a nuclear reactor especially of the same type. The plant still has a further twenty years of life before decommissioning. I might wait until those years are over before deciding whether or not to visit.

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