Searching for the Lithuanian nuclear cultural heritage: Nuclear simulator and archives

On the 12th and 13th of March, Rindzeviciute visited several locations that are centrally important for the Lithuanian nuclear cultural heritage: the simulator of the RBMK reactor’s control panel in Visaginas and the information centre at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. The simulator, which is said to be the first of its kind in the Soviet Union, was designed and built in the late 1980s. Several generations of the RBMK reactor operators were trained on it. As Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is being decommissioned, the simulator lost its original function. However, this fabulous monument of the Soviet technoscientific modernity is perfectly preserved in situ. Could the simulator serve as a key object for the planned Museum of Visaginas?

At the information centre, Rindzeviciute discussed the opportunities to develop international collaboration between nuclear archives. A wealth of documentation is being gathered and stored at the Ignalina NPP archive, which are in the safe hands of the dedicated team. However, the long term status of these documents is unclear: what will become of the archive once the nuclear power plant is fully decommissioned? It is important to preserve these unique documents for the future generations of historians of science and technology. The visit could not be completed without a delicious and wholesome lunch at the employees’ canteen (this was before the introduction of social distancing).

Photos kindly provided by Agne Gintalaite.