The main filming for the miniseries took place at Chernobyl’s sister plant, Ignalina in Lithuania. Ignalina is about 100 miles away from Vilnius, the capital of the eastern European country. The team filmed the dramatisation of the event in spring and summer 2018.
NUCLEAR TOURISM Take a trip to Lithuania and see where Chernobyl crew filmed the shocking scenes.
But when the creators of the TV series were scouting out locations to film, it was neighbouring Lithuania where they found a carbon copy of the nuclear power station suitable to film some of the most shocking scenes.
Much of the action was shot at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP), built in the same era as ill-fated Chernobyl. A 90-minute drive from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, visitors can now book a tour of the plant’s controlled zone, home to the reactor room, turbine room and block control panel.
There’s even a chance to climb to the top of the reactor and its roof.
“Alongside a functioning tax credit, War & Peace had recently been filmed in Lithuania and that had worked out very well for them,” says Chris Fry, a co-executive producer on Chernobyl, in comments to The Knowledge.
"The country also had a selection of ex-Soviet buildings and a variety of other authentic locations that suited our needs.
“I had previously worked with service company Baltic Film Services and had a good experience with them – they’re the best people in the area.” Lithuania also offered Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, a former station in the east of the country near the borders with Latvia and Belarus, which was in fact originally built as a ‘sister’ site to Chernobyl itself.
The design fault that led to the Chernobyl disaster was subsequently corrected at the Ignalina facility but the site was gradually closed from 2004 as a condition of Lithuania’s entry to the EU.
Location filming also took place across Vilnius and in Kaunas, 60 miles west of the capital.
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (Lithuanian: Ignalinos Atominė Elektrinė, IAE) is a closed two-unit RBMK-1500 nuclear power station in Visaginas Municipality, Lithuania. It was named after the nearby city of Ignalina. Due to the plant's similarities to the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in both reactor design and lack of a robust containment building, Lithuania agreed to close the plant as part of its accession agreement to the European Union. Unit 1 was closed in December 2004; Unit 2, which counted for 25% of Lithuania's electricity generating capacity and supplied about 70% of Lithuania's electrical demand, was closed on December 31, 2009. Proposals have been made to construct a new nuclear power plant at the same site. However, plans have not materialised since then, and the country is one of the most active supporters of renewable energy.
Visit The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant
PURPOSE: Visits are organized for schoolchildren and other persons, who are interested in nuclear energy, mainly in INPP construction history, operation and capacity, main safety systems, decommissioning plan and forthcoming repositories for radioactive waste.
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LOCATION: At the exhibition hall you can find a model of RBMK Reactor Unit; a model of a fuel assembly and a model of the spent fuel cask CASTOR. You can also watch video films (Lithuanian, Russian, English) about Ignalina NPP. With the help of a special TV equipment, you can watch the direct view of the plant, namely: the Reactor Hall, the Turbine Hall, the Spent Fuel Storage Pool and Control room.
DURATION: ~ 1 hour. Visits are organized only on weekdays and in working time. Visit may start at 9 am but no later than 3 pm.
PRICE: free of charge.
MAX NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: up to 30 people.
ORGANIZATION: Please arrange your visit by phone (+370 386) 28512 or by e-mail: [email protected]
VISIT The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. CONTROLLED ZONE AT INPP
PURPOSE: Private excursions are organized for persons, who are interested in nuclear energy, mainly in INPP construction history, operation and capacity, main safety systems, decommissioning plan and forthcoming repositories for radioactive waste. Tourists have a possibility to observe how dismantling and decontamination works are being performed by the INPP personnel own forces. The activity is financed by International INPP Decommissioning Support Fund and Ignalina Programme Fund.
A particular attention is paid to personal protective equipment - at the entrance to the controlled zone you will be given special clothes to wear during the excurtion. In accordance with the rules of stay at this facility, tourists are dressed with special protective clothing.
Attention! Both INPP Units are shut-down and kept at safe storage stage. Currently, when both INPP reactors do not contain spent fuel, the enterprise makes every effort to minimise any safety risks, to accelerate the transfer of spent fuel to the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSF), and to ensure the most efficient and rational implementation of state targets for decommissioning.
LOCATION *: The tour inside includes central hall, or reactor hall, control room and turbine hall. These are the main places to visit inside.
Attention! The order and the list of visited places can be changed during the tour in case of carrying out the technical works at the facilities of the station.
DURATION: ~ 2.5 hours. Private tours are organized only on weekdays: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and in working time. Tour may start at 9 am, but no later than 1pm.
PRICE *: The cost of the tour is 57.92 Eur/person (for groups of 10 people and more - 10% discount)