Lenin (icebreaker)

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The Soviet Union's Lenin was the world's first nuclear powered icebreaker.

The Lenin, launched by the Soviet Union in 1959, was the world's first nuclear powered icebreaker.[1] So far the Soviet Union, and its successor state, modern Russia, are the only countries to operate nuclear powered icebreakers.

The New York Times reported, in 1969, that her engines could produce 270 megawatts.[2]

In 1992 Russian officials acknowledged that the Lenin, like the Soviet Navy's nuclear powered submarines, had routinely dumped its highly radioactive used cores into the Arctic Ocean, without making any effort at containment.[3]


  1. Soviet Atomic Icebreaker Lenin on Maiden Voyage, New York Times, 1959-09-16, p. 20. Retrieved on 2022-08-04.
  2. 2 Big Nuclear Vessels Reported Built by China, New York Times, 1969-01-18, p. 52. Retrieved on 2022-08-04.
  3. Soviet nuclear dumps disclosed, New York Times, 1992-11-24, p. C9. Retrieved on 2022-08-04.