The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov


Reference work entry
“Lenin” – a nuclear icebreaker, built in 1957 in Leningrad at the shipyard named after A. Marti to operate on the Northern Sea Route. It was commissioned for fleet operations in 1959. Its length is 134 m, width is 27.6 m, draft is 9.2 m, displacement is 16,000 t, speed is 18 knots, and the crew is 151 people. The nuclear power plant included three nuclear reactors of thermal power of 90 MW each. The thickness of the ice belt in the middle part of the icebreaker was 36 mm, the forebody is 52 mm, and the stern is 44 mm. The sea endurance of the ship was 12 months. The icebreaker was built with the participation of 30 research institutes, 60 design bureaus, and over 250 industrial enterprises. After the completion of sea trials in 1960, the ship came to Murmansk and escorted vessels on the Northern Sea Route. In 1961, the icebreaker delivered a polar explorers and SP-10 equipment to the ice floe at 75°27ʹN and 177°10ʹE in the East Siberian Sea. After that, the icebreaker delivered DARMS (automatic weather station) to the northern part of the Laptev Sea. The icebreaker was used for testing new types of nuclear steam generators. In 1970, at the Zvyozdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, “Lenin” was repaired and modernized with the replacement of three reactors for two reactors. In 1971, “Lenin” was the first of surface vessels to sail north of Severnaya Zemlya. During its operation the ship covered more than 654,000 miles, of which in the ice more than 550,000 miles. She was decommissioned in 1989 and laid up at Murmansk, where she was converted into a museum. The ship was awarded the Order of Lenin.

“Lenin” nuclear icebreaker (Source:

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