After the space triumph – the launch of the world’s first satellite – the USSR gives one more reason for excitement: the world’s first nuclear-powered surface ship is launched in Leningrad. The peaceful atom concept was implemented by a group of scientists led by physicist Anatoly Alexandrov. A nuclear steam engine generated steam for the 4 generators, which, in turn, powered 3 propelling electric motors. The icebreaker had a displacement of 16 thousand tons, was 134 meters long, and more than 27 meters wide. After completing trials, Lenin entered operation on the Northern Sea Route. Its first captain was Pavel Ponomarev. In its 30 years of service, the ship passed more than 650 thousand sea miles and escorted 3741 vessels through the ice. Since 1989, Lenin has been permanently based at Murmansk.
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