Military Review

Did it yourself

16
A successful test at the Semipalatinsk test site of the first atomic charge RDS-1 with a power of 20 kilotons, held on August 29 1949, meant only that the United States lost the geopolitical status of the only nuclear power. Following this, the Soviet Union was to proceed to the solution of the next strategic task - the deployment of production of bombs ready for combat use. It was decided to create a plant with strategic storage in Arzamas-16 (now Sarov) with KB-11, that is, where RDS-1 was born.


Did it yourself18 November 1949 of the year at a meeting of the Special Committee at the USSR Council of Ministers discussed the development of the national nuclear weapons complex, as they say, under the protocol. Berievsky. Item VII of this protocol was called “On the serial production of finished products RDS-1”, the main responsible for the implementation of which was Lavrenty Pavlovich. In a well-protected area, KB-11 was to build an assembly plant. It gained fame, of course, among those who were supposed to be plant No. 551, later getting a more sonorous name — the Avangard Electromechanical Plant. Personnel backbone was made by specialists of KB-11. Many of them came from strict special operations from various industrial enterprises.

The plant’s capacities were designed for the production of two or three RDS-1 aerial bombs (another designation - “501 product”) per month. It was expected that it would begin in December of 1950, but with all the labor heroism of the construction prisoners and "free" specialists did not have time. The Kremlin was unhappy, but taking into account the objective difficulties, of which there were many, lowered the new term - the second half of next year. Indeed, in December of the 1951, the first three serial RDS-1 bombs left the factory for the KB-11 special storage. Recall that the "conspiratorial" abbreviation RDS, which is then generally assigned with different digital indices to samples of the Soviet nuclear weapons The first generation meant “special jet engine”, which, however, was interpreted by the initiates as both “Stalin’s jet engine” and how “Russia makes itself”.

It must be said that these were not the first RDS-1 in the emergency arsenal of the USSR. First, the KB-11 gave the Motherland atomic bombs, so to speak, manual, laboratory assemblies: two in the 1949, nine in the 1950 and 18 in the 10 months 1951 of the year. (Also, in the hand made mode, the situation was similar with similar products at Los Alamos). Each of the pieces, and then the serial ones, was accepted by the commission under the supervision of the chief designer of KB-11, Julius Khariton. The creation of this stock cost the country, which had not yet recovered from military hardships, of tremendous efforts and costs, which fell on the people, who almost immediately after the Victory began to besiege political informators with questions: when finally and our country will have an atomic miracle weapon.

Of course, the super-secret control figures were not communicated to the public. Nor did it know that the gap in nuclear capabilities between the USSR and the USA continued to remain huge. Suffice it to say that the States in 1951 had 438 nuclear bombs. But the nuclear monopoly was buried forever.

The product RDS-1 with a power of the order of 20 kilotons was a domestic equivalent - but not a copy! - American plutonium bomb "Fat Man" (Fatman). The mass of the RDS-1 was close to five tons, which excluded the use of the first Soviet nuclear bomb from any other combat aircraft, except for heavy long-range bombers. The system ensuring the use of RDS-1 on the Tu-4A (A - atomic) was developed by Alexander Nadashkevich. Only these piston bombers themselves, which were, so to speak, “pirated copies” of the American B-29 “Superfortress” (the very ones that burned the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic flames), were already outdated and, due to low speed, were a priori easy prey for reactive enemy fighters. This was convincingly proved by the Soviet pilots, famously cracking down on the American B-29 during the war in Korea. But "on the way" were already jet long-range Tu-16 and M-4.

The KB-11 labor soon adopted advanced RDS-2 nuclear bombs with plutonium (38 kilotons) and RDS-3 with uranium-plutonium (42 kilotons) charges. All previously released RDS-1 converted into RDS-2. At the same time, the power of the charges was significantly increased, and, on the contrary, the mass of the bombs was reduced. The nuclear shield of the Fatherland was becoming more and more durable, although until parity with the United States (which, by the way, is still the case today), there were still two decades.
Author:
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http://vpk-news.ru/articles/33951
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  1. vovanpain
    vovanpain 3 December 2016 15: 15
    +28
    The nuclear shield of the Fatherland was becoming more and more solid, although two more decades remained before parity with the USA (which, incidentally, still exists today).
    You are amazed at the people of that era, having survived and won the most terrible war, having suffered terrible losses, but nevertheless thought about the future, because thanks to them we are living today. Thanks to the author for the article. hi
    1. Rus2012
      Rus2012 3 December 2016 18: 21
      +6
      Quote: vovanpain
      Amazed at the people of that era

      ... just notes from an eyewitness - http://lyutov70.livejournal.com/55768.html
      During the formation of the Mayak chemical plant, the personnel themselves were subjected to exceptional exposure. The bottom line is that they were theoretically aware of the radiological hazard, but in practice few realized its scope. Suffice it to say that the dosimetric service, led by front-line engineer A.I. Magilner appeared here after weapons-grade plutonium was obtained - in the spring of 1949. Dosimetrists had to work on 8 hours without a break 6 days a week.
      According to veterans, at first the norms of working with ionizing radiation did not exist at all. They appeared only in February of the 1950 year, and even then they were doses that were completely unthinkable for today's times: the daily rate was 0,1 X-rays, and the annual one allowed 30 X-rays. In 1954, they were halved, but that didn't help much. Only in the 1961 year, four years after the fatal accident, were they fundamentally revised.
      On the whole, in the first five years of the plant’s activity, about twenty thousand personnel changed due to over-irradiation. Those who did not have time to “change” due to illness remained here forever ...


      In German Hamburg there is a monument to those who died from radiation sickness. And in Ozersk, 40 years after the start of the first reactor, a memorable stele appeared with the young Prometheus flying up into the sky, holding fire in his hands. The fire of the atom ...
      The monument to the pioneers of the Mayak, as well as the monument to Kurchatov, belongs to the remarkable sculptor A.S. Gilev. “Alexander Semenovich was seriously ill by that time,” recalls I. Ozersk veteran Tryakin. - He had bleeding.


      The legendary man at Mayak, Lia Pavlovna Sokhina, who was at the forefront of radiochemical production, once honestly admitted:
      “We knew what radioactivity was, what plutonium was.” Although, of course, they did not represent all the insidiousness of this production, and sometimes they could not escape it, radioactivity, which was greatly facilitated by the desire to work at full strength and reckless youth ...

      Indeed, when you read the book “Plutonium in Girl's Hands”, you are simply amazed at these memories. Here are young female laboratory assistants pouring radioactive solutions from containers into glasses - just like that, without any protection. Or they are engaged in the separation of elements using nitric acid in a conventional stainless steel vessel.
      They recall how once a thick-walled flask crashed, and a piece of glass with plutonium hit a technician, a young guy, on the cheek. “We were confused and began to wash his cheek with water right above the sink. The shop manager came running and scolded us for not understanding how to collect blood in a cup. After all, we probably lost a few milligrams of plutonium! ”
      Plutonium "has a habit" of exploding during processing. “We were driven on all the time by the time, we were in a hurry, grinding the samples without proper precautions,” writes L.P. Sokhin. - As a result, once there was an explosion, and all the plutonium was on the ceiling. Then it was washed away from the ceiling and walls into containers with filter paper. Academician Bochwar himself took part in this operation. The paper was burnt, redecorated and continued to work in the same room. Can you imagine how much plutonium was there? Hundreds, thousands of doses! .. "

      I had to pay for the atom - in the literal sense ...


      ... steel people!
    2. Red dwarf
      Red dwarf 31 May 2017 09: 17
      +2
      Quote: vovanpain
      You are amazed at the people of that era, having survived and won the most terrible war, having suffered terrible losses, but nevertheless thought about the future, because thanks to them we are living today. Thanks to the author for the article.

      It is a pity that today, one has to be amazed, selfishness, meanness, moral degradation, general indifference, and you are no better.
  2. Old26
    Old26 3 December 2016 16: 39
    +7
    There is an error in the text. The author writes:
    It must be said that these were not the first RDS-1s in the emergency arsenal of the USSR. First, KB-11 gave the homeland atomic bombs, so to speak, of manual laboratory assembly: two in 1949, nine in 1950 and 18 in 10 months of 1951.

    These were the creation plans.
    • 2 in 1949 (including one tested at the training ground)
    • 7 in 1950
    • 18 in 1951
    • 30 in 1952
    • 42 in 1953
    • 54 in 1954
    That is, only 154 bombs, including the one tested in 1949.
    In fact, by December 1951, 3 serial products of RDS-1 were assembled. In total, at the beginning of 1952, the USSR had 5 charges. In total, in 1952-1953 29 RDS-1 bombs were collected
  3. Papapg
    Papapg 3 December 2016 18: 08
    +9
    Nuclear disarmament - two are standing knee-deep in gasoline and boasting, one has two matches and the other has five, the question is - who has the advantage?
  4. magician
    magician 3 December 2016 20: 55
    +2
    without such sacrifice, we would not have survived to the present independent. But then, not only the nuclear program was developing, there was an unannounced topic: chemical weapons. Maybe someone will write an article?)
    1. Bongo
      Bongo 4 December 2016 02: 47
      +1
      Quote: wizard
      chemical weapon. Maybe someone will write an article

      Quote: Old26
      Too big topic.

      It should be released soon, but the topic is really very large and there are practically no open materials on the development of BOV in our country.
  5. Old26
    Old26 3 December 2016 21: 14
    +2
    Quote: wizard
    there is an unannounced topic: chemical weapons

    Too big topic.
  6. Signore Tomato
    Signore Tomato 3 December 2016 22: 28
    0
    Very interesting!
  7. mr.redpartizan
    mr.redpartizan 4 December 2016 16: 50
    +3
    Many thanks to all participants in the nuclear project and especially to its leader L.P. Beria. Without their titanic work, we would not be here now. Nuclear weapons are the most reliable guarantee of our security.
  8. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 4 December 2016 20: 03
    0
    All atomic bombs of the first generation had a plutonium source of neutrons. And this meant that every six months it had to be changed, because its effectiveness was steadily declining due to the decay of plutonium. And the first large-scale Soviet bomb RDS-6 (Tatyana) had a weight of 2 t and could be used with IL-28.
    1. Kaiten
      Kaiten 4 December 2016 22: 50
      +4
      Of course we did everything ourselves.
      And these mean nothing.
  9. Old26
    Old26 5 December 2016 00: 41
    0
    Quote: Aviator_
    All atomic bombs of the first generation had a plutonium source of neutrons. And this meant that every six months it had to be changed, because its effectiveness was steadily declining due to the decay of plutonium. And the first large-scale Soviet bomb RDS-6 (Tatyana) had a weight of 2 t and could be used with IL-28.

    In fact, the source of neutrons, the so-called the neutron detonator was a beryllium ball coated POLONEMY-210. Given the half-life of polonium 140 days, the detonator really had to be changed about once every 4,5 months.
    Polonium, not plutonium, dear Aviator_. The charge itself was plutonium.
    1. Kaiten
      Kaiten 5 December 2016 17: 15
      0
      Quote: Old26
      Polonium, not plutonium

      phew, and I thought cosmonauts every 4 months flew to Pluto for detonators.
  10. iz odessy
    iz odessy 9 December 2016 14: 24
    +1
    some who lived in Semipalatinsk and even Pavlodar regions remember the 50-60s from the "white nights". Only later, after the 80s, it became clear that this glow - ionization, or "trembling" of the soil in the form of cracks on buildings - work on the creation of nuclear weapons
  11. MDVg
    MDVg 3 July 2017 16: 20
    0
    Thanks to the author. Interesting article.