Bomb number one. How the USSR became a nuclear power

The first Soviet serial atomic bomb RDS-1 was released on December 1, 1951 & nbsp; g. This does not & nbsp; mean that previously the USSR did not & nbsp; had nuclear weapons. A bomb with the & nbsp; same name was detonated back in & nbsp; 1949. But & nbsp; that & nbsp; was a “ screwdriver assembly '', and & nbsp; not & nbsp; line production.

How to steal a Fat Man

To & nbsp; honor to say, the first atomic bomb Soviet Union '' stole '' in & nbsp; America. From the first steps, the process of creating an atomic bomb in the West was under the hood of Soviet intelligence. While work was still going on in Britain, Moscow received information from & nbsp; John Kerncross, Assistant Secretary of the Imperial War Cabinet … After the transfer of the atomic project to the & nbsp; USA, the number of sources increased even more. & nbsp; Klaus Fuchs, Theodor Hall, Georges Koval, David Greenglass and & nbsp; many others worked for & nbsp; USSR. According to & nbsp; recollections of General Pavel Sudoplatov , already 12 & nbsp; days after the completion of the assembly of the first atomic bomb in the & nbsp; USA, a description of its & nbsp; device was already received in & nbsp; Moscow.

The first Soviet atomic bomb was named RDS-1 & nbsp; & mdash; in the & nbsp; government decree on & nbsp; its & nbsp; creation, the product passed as a “ special jet engine ''. The design of the RDS-1 & nbsp; was largely based on the & nbsp; American plutonium bomb “ Fat Man '' (Fat Man), dropped on 9 & nbsp; August 1945 & nbsp; g & nbsp; on & nbsp; Nagasaki. However, the body and & nbsp; electronic filling were Soviet.

Bomb and & nbsp; “A short course in the history of the CPSU (b)”

Colonel Andrey Zharikov served at the & nbsp; Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, where he headed one of the & nbsp; scientific groups. After retiring & nbsp; he published the book The Testing Grounds.

“ Could you & nbsp; have made a bomb before? & mdash; & nbsp; wrote Zharikov. & mdash; & nbsp; Apparently not. Here, I suppose, it is not about & nbsp; only politics, but & nbsp; and & nbsp; technology. Creation of nuclear weapons & nbsp; & mdash; the result of the efforts of many scientists, engineers, workers. Not only scientific laboratories and design bureaus are engaged in this. For this purpose, factories, mining enterprises, special transport are directly or indirectly involved, which requires a huge number of people and & nbsp; financial costs. But & nbsp; had no other way out for & nbsp; back then.

Did & nbsp; Did & nbsp; have a domestic base for creating atomic weapons? Indisputably. Back in 1920, the Atomic Commission was formed, in which many scientists worked … In 1933, near Leningrad, the First All-Union Conference on the Physics of the Atomic Nucleus was held. The organizing committee of the conference was headed by I. & nbsp; V. & nbsp; Kurchatov . Two years later, the & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; laboratories headed by him began to study the fission of uranium by neutrons.

In & nbsp; 1945 & nbsp; year, after Hiroshima and & nbsp; Nagasaki, an emergency decision was made to & nbsp; organize a new industry & nbsp ; & mdash; nuclear industry. A special Committee under the State Defense Committee of the USSR was formed under the chairmanship of L. & nbsp; P. & nbsp; Beria , The First Main Directorate (PSU) under the Council of Ministers of the USSR, headed by & nbsp; B. & nbsp; L. & nbsp; Vannikov . Later, in & nbsp; 1953 & nbsp; year, it was reorganized into & nbsp; Ministry of Medium Machine Building …

The construction of the first industrial nuclear reactor near Chelyabinsk has not yet been & nbsp; completed, the radiochemical plant for & nbsp; separation of plutonium from & nbsp; irradiated uranium & nbsp; & mdash; all this will come true in the summer of 1948 & nbsp; year, & nbsp; & mdash; and & nbsp; in & nbsp; Zvenigorodsky monastery near Moscow already in & nbsp; the end of 1947 the state of the nuclear test site was formed. The officers did not yet & nbsp; know what they would do and & nbsp; where they & nbsp; would be ordered to serve, but & nbsp; were under the strict control of the special department of the MGB and & nbsp; had no free exit from the monastic apartments. Many received higher salaries, all gave a subscription not to disclose military secrets. We were engaged in shagistics, physical training, studying statutes and & nbsp; seminars on & nbsp; “ A short course in the history of the CPSU (b) '' …

At the beginning of 1948, the Council of Ministers of the USSR ordered I. & nbsp; V. & nbsp; Kurchatov , Yu & nbsp; B. Khariton and & nbsp; P. & nbsp; M. & nbsp; Zernova not & nbsp; later than 1 & nbsp; December 1, 1949 to produce and & nbsp; transfer the first copies of atomic bombs for & nbsp; state tests. There was a time when everyone was striving to & nbsp; overfulfillment of plans, took an oath to the leader at a & nbsp; rally or meeting that we would not & nbsp; spare our strength.

The first serial

Test RDS-1 (power 22 & nbsp; kilotons), as you know, was successful. It happened on 29 & nbsp; August 1949 & nbsp; g. Naturally, the question arose about & nbsp; serial production. This process is veteran of nuclear tests and & nbsp; nuclear industry Yevgeny Korchagin in & nbsp; article “ Creating a nuclear shield of the Fatherland '' described as follows:

& nbsp; 1947 & nbsp; g. Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov , apparently, was bluffing, saying that the secret of the atomic bomb for the Soviet Union no longer existed. However, in & nbsp; reality, before the & nbsp; creation of the atomic bomb in the & nbsp; USSR was still very far away … It was still necessary to grow up to & nbsp; serial production. Perhaps this was the most stressful period in the & nbsp; life of our country, yes & nbsp; and & nbsp; of all mankind, when one wrong step could lead to & nbsp; irreparable consequences. The leaders of the Soviet Union understood this perfectly well.

Back in the & nbsp; Soviet Union, the first atomic bomb was not tested, but & nbsp; The Council of Ministers of the USSR had already adopted a Resolution dated & nbsp; 3 & nbsp; March 1949 & nbsp; g. No. & nbsp; 863-327ss/op about & nbsp; construction of the first in & nbsp; USSR plant for & nbsp; industrial production of atomic bombs. It obliged to carry out in & nbsp; 1949-1950 & nbsp; years. construction in & nbsp; a closed area of ​​object No. & nbsp; 550, in & nbsp; as part of KB-11 (Sarov village, future Arzamas-16 & nbsp; & mdash; AiF.) of an assembly plant for & nbsp; production capacity of 20 & nbsp; RDS units in & nbsp; year.

In addition to the atomic bomb for testing on August 29 & nbsp; August 1949 & nbsp; g., experimental production of KB-11 & nbsp; by the end of 1949 & nbsp; g. two more RDS-1s were manufactured. А & nbsp; в & nbsp; 1950 & nbsp; g. the same pilot production of KB-11 produced nine more (instead of seven according to the & nbsp; plan) atomic bombs RDS-1. In addition, already in & nbsp; January-February 1951 & nbsp; g. four more atomic bombs were made.

Thus, long before the & nbsp; final launch at & nbsp; full design capacity of the first serial plant for & nbsp; industrial production of atomic bombs, by & nbsp; 1 & nbsp; March 1951 & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; in & nbsp; arsenal of atomic weapons of the Soviet Union had & nbsp; 15 (plutonium-type bombs) RDS-1.

The storage of atomic bombs was carried out here & nbsp; but on the & nbsp; territory of the nuclear & quot; facility No. & nbsp; 550 & raquo; (KB-11) in a & nbsp; specially erected underground reinforced concrete warehouse & mdash; storage. The bombs were stored in & nbsp; disassembled state, component parts and & nbsp; parts were also in & nbsp; reinforced concrete ground (covered with earth) storage facilities. All storage facilities were under the protection of the Ministry of State Security.

During the & nbsp; special period, these ammunition could be reassembled, transported, brought to the & nbsp; highest (combat) readiness level and & nbsp; transferred to & nbsp; appropriate military unit for combat use. Final preparation of these 'products' (atomic bombs) for & nbsp; combat use was assigned to the & nbsp; KB-11 assembly brigade. The tasks of & nbsp; delivery of atomic bombs to & nbsp; targets and & nbsp; bombing were assigned to the & nbsp; Air Force of the Soviet Army.

By the end of 1951 & nbsp; g. experimental production and & nbsp; serial plant No. & nbsp; 551, which came into action in & nbsp; the second half of 1951 & nbsp; in & nbsp; KB-11 (plant No. & nbsp; 3 & nbsp; KB-11), 29 RDS & nbsp; -1, in & nbsp; including, the first three mass-produced atomic bombs, equipped with nuclear charges created at & nbsp; pilot production KB-11 & Prime ;.


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