Nuclear icebreakers have been built in two countries. One, the Soviet Union, was a nuclear power and an arctic maritime country; the other, Finland, was neither. This article examines the Finnish nuclear icebreaker project that stemmed from postwar nuclear enthusiasm in 1961, produced two shallow draft nuclear icebreakers in the 1980s and, after being a celebrated technological and political success, failed to survive end of the Cold War. The project was initiated by a private shipyard in a neutral country but, this article argues, it was realized only because it became a site of Cold War technopolitics in Finnish-Soviet relations. However, it was the active role of the private shipyard, forging the nuclear icebreaker project to be used as a political tool, which made the exceptional and expensive project materialize, even though most other civilian nuclear dreams gradually withered away.