This link comes via my friend, David Gates, who retired not long ago from Newsweek. David got it from a friend of his who still works there.
[T]he Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided to build a chain of lighthouses to guide ships finding their way in the dark polar night across uninhabited shores of the Soviet Russian Empire. So it has been done and a series of such lighthouses has been erected. They had to be fully autonomous, because they were situated hundreds and hundreds miles aways from any populated areas. After reviewing different ideas on how to make them work for a years without service and any external power supply, Soviet engineers decided to implement atomic energy to power up those structures.
None of us are 100% sure it’s true–and if you scroll to the bottom of the page, there are many highly skeptical commenters–but the pictures are great, and I figure it’s either (a) a very cool, weird nugget of real history, or else (b) something that isn’t true but should be–ie a cool, weird nugget of alternative history.