Press Release

Press release

University of Lapland/ Arctic Centre


Arctic Centre leads transformation of the first nuclear icebreaker into a Science Centre

The Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland with its partners Polaria, in Tromsoe (Norway) and Atomflot in Murmansk (Russia) have been granted 1.2 million Euro by Kolarctic ENPI CBC program to produce a science and historical exhibition on board Icebreaker Lenin. The project also aims at implementing activities related to education and tourism development in the exhibitions in each partner’s region.

The Arctic Centre will be the lead partner and act as the main exhibition producer in the project Arctic Expo Centre – Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Lenin – ICE.

Polaria and Arctic Centre are already well-established exhibition centres while Arctic Expo Centre in Murmansk is in its initial stages to develop into a science and exhibition centre. The project will enable the project-partners to share expertise and thereby to build a new science exhibition centre focusing on the Arctic. The project also facilitates the creation of an Arctic exhibition centre network in the concerned regions, enhancing future opportunities for development of tourism and education related activities.

“Through exchange of expertise and share of experiences each member will increase the opportunities to develop its own exhibition and activities such as education package for teachers and pupils on certain issues, special tours for tourists”, says chief executive producer Nicolas Gunslay, Arctic Centre.

The aim of the project is to develop new exhibitions and innovative communication tools as a means to improve the information on local and cross-borders concerns. This will help to facilitate a mutual understanding among neighbouring people about common issues and the Arctic.

“The goal is to raise awareness on topics related to the Arctic marine environment, climate change, and globalisation.”

As the exhibition is planned on board Icebreaker Lenin, the goal is also to tell about technology and history of icebreaking. These goals will be achieved through the planning and implementation of a science and historical exhibition and the development of common education and edutainment activities. Each centre will get identical exhibition elements that enable the sharing of important and up to date Arctic issues among the visitors in the different countries.

“The project provides a unique opportunity to support and develop joint education activities and to have a tool to disseminate important issues regarding the Arctic and its vulnerable environment.”

Icebreaker Lenin:

– Launched on 1957 and made operational in 1959

– The world’s first nuclear powered surface ship and the first nuclear powered civilian vessel

– Length 134 meters, width 27,6 m and height 16,1 m

– Displacement 16 000 tones

– While in operation, it had a crew of 240 persons

– Left service in 1989 for permanent berthing in Murmansk

– Is now a museum, soon also a science centre

More information:

Chief Executive Producer Nicolas Gunslay, Arctic Centre, +358 40 735 7296, Nicolas.gunslay(at)

Science Communicator Ari Laakso, Arctic Centre, +358 40 4844293, ari.laakso(at)

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Welcome on board Icebreaker Lenin

Welcome to follow the new adventure of Icebreaker Lenin, being currently transformed into conference and exhibition centre. Through this blog, one could follow the development of this transformation and its progress as well as maybe getting to know before anyone else what would the exhibition be about. One could also read about icebreaker technology and  latest scientific information on various issues such as climate change, sea ice conditions, development of exploitation of natural resources in the Arctic…etc.  The project is called “Arctic Expo Centre – Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Lenin – ICE and is supported by the Kolarctic ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013. The partners are Polaria, Tromsoe in Norway, Atomflot, in Murmansk, Russia and the lead partner is the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland.

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