In 2020, the nuclear industry in Russia will celebrate its 75th anniversary.
To celebrate the occasion, albeit a little in advance, Rosatom released various historical documents and videos providing a glimpse in the history of nuclear weapons, energy and various nuclear-powered machines in the Soviet Union.
This shouldn’t be confused with the 65-year anniversary Rosatom itself celebrated in June 2019.
The released documents were classified until recently, relating to the plans of the Soviet Union to construct nuclear weapons. The initiative was based on the need for industrial complexes for producing weapons-grade plutonium and uranium, which are necessary for building nuclear capacity.
Among them, there are reports and reference notes addressed to the Soviet leadership. In particular, the Deputy Prime Minister and the head of the Atomic Project Management Committee, Lavrenty Beria, was informed about how plants were selected to carry out design work there and that it was necessary to notify the Soviet population about the dangers associated with the discovery of the atomic bomb through the publication of a special book.
There are notes intended for the head of the Soviet state, Joseph Stalin. In particular, in one of them he was presented with a report on the status of work on the production and use of atomic energy.
Some of the documents outline the decision of whether the payload being plutonium or uranium.
“The design must certainly be able to work before the start of its free fall and should be brought into working condition 20 seconds after the start of the fall,” is stated in one of the papers.
The proposals put forward by the pioneers of atomic energy in the USSR were often realized even on a larger scale than was needed. The plant, built less than 20 kilometers from Tomsk, has become a unique enterprise, engaged not only in the enrichment of uranium.
Workers manufactured components of nuclear charges, and also engaged in their processing. Discharged weapons became fuel for nuclear power plants; among other things, the company was engaged in the processing of spent fuel and the creation of consumer goods.
At present, it is a Rosatom enterprise – the Siberian Chemical Combine, working to develop nuclear energy.
Meanwhile, earlier, data were also published on German specialists involved in the development of atomic weapons in Nazi Germany, and after the war they came to the USSR and participated in the creation of the first Soviet atomic bomb. Later they admitted that such a proposal literally helped them survive, stretching out of post-war Germany, mired in unemployment. According to Rosatom, more than 300 people moved to the USSR – scientists and their families.
Separately, Rosatom published quite a few videos, not only focused on atomic bombs, but also showed tests of the hydrogen bomb, a nuclear submarine, and some of the first nuclear reactors.
The video shows a test at a training ground.
Test of hydrogen bomb on August 12th, 1953.
Test of RDS-37 hydrogen bomb.
Test of nuclear bomb RDS-3 on October 18th, 1951.
Test of nuclear bomb RDS-3 on September 24th, 1951.
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