Military Review

Uranus to the top

Uranus to the topThe Resolution of the State Defense Committee of the USSR “On the extraction of uranium” obliged the People's Commissariat of the non-ferrous metallurgy to organize, by May 1943, not only the development of mines, but also the receipt of uranium salts. With this decision, aimed at the implementation of the decree of the State Defense Committee “On the organization of work on uranium” signed by Stalin two months before, история domestic nuclear industry. The purpose of the directives was to create a uranium (as it was said in secret papers and among scientists) a bomb.

It was impossible to delay. The United States, Britain, Germany and even Japan worked on the creation of a super-weapon. Four days after the publication of the decree “On the Mining of Uranium”, Fermi and his comrades launched the famous “Chicago Wood Pile” - the world's first nuclear reactor - in the States. NKVD chief Lawrence Beria, back in March, told 1942 to the Soviet leadership: “In a number of capitalist countries, in connection with the ongoing work on splitting the atomic nucleus in order to obtain a new energy source, the study of the use of atomic energy for military purposes began ... great secrecy. The materials obtained by the NKVD from England by agents described the activities of the English Uranium Committee on Atomic Energy ... These studies are based on the use of one of the uranium isotopes (uranium-235), which has effective splitting properties ... "
Lieutenant Georgy Flerov - before being drafted into the army, a physicist who, in 1940, together with Konstantin Petrzhak, under the guidance of Kurchatov, discovered the spontaneous division of uranium nuclei, bombarded the state leadership with letters: "In all foreign journals, the complete absence of any work on this issue ... Imposed print silence, and this is the best indicator of how hard work is going now abroad ... The only thing that makes uranium projects fantastic is too great promise in case of successful solving the problem ... a real revolution will take place in military technology. ”

By the way, such signals came before the war. At the end of 1940 - the beginning of 1941, German anti-fascist scientist Fritz Lange and his colleagues at the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology Viktor Maslov and Vladimir Spinel suggested a principled atomic bomb project, stating that “the problem of creating an explosion in uranium is reduced to getting short a time span of uranium mass in an amount much larger than the critical ... "and that" building a uranium bomb sufficient to destroy cities such as London or Berlin is obviously not a problem. " In fact, for the first time in history, they developed a classic scheme of nuclear munition. Unfortunately, the leadership of the People's Commissariat of Defense, for consideration of which the draft was submitted, did not find it worthy of attention.

On the same day, when the resolution “On the extraction of uranium” was adopted, Igor Kurchatov sent a memorandum to the deputy chairman of the State Defense Committee, Molotov. It analyzed the information obtained by Soviet intelligence, and set forth considerations on the formation of a "shock scientific fist" to create a uranium bomb. And he appeared, and quickly. The nuclear project involved the leading domestic nuclear physicists Abram Alikhanov, Yuli Khariton, Yakov Zeldovich, Anatoly Alexandrov and others. Naturally, Flerov was recalled to him and recalled from the army’s ranks (when conducting the 29 test on August 1949 of the first Russian nuclear RDS-1 nuclear charge, George Nikolaevich was personally responsible for the scientific and physical support of the explosion).

In December 1944, all the uranium enterprises of Narkomtsvetmet were transferred, taking into account the special importance of the research and production problem, to the NKVD. The Institute of Special Metals (Inspetsmet NKVD, today - VNIINM named after Academician A. A. Bochvar) was created under the auspices of the omnipotent department, where the leading place in research on uranium production belonged to the Soviet Union’s Mme. It was under her command that the first uranium metal ingot in our country was experimentally smelted.

By the beginning of 1945, the B Plant Main Directorate of the Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises of the NKVD of the USSR included a chemical plant “B” for the production of uranium salts, the Taboshar deposit, Maili-Su, Uygur-Say, and Adrasmansky bismuth and Tuya-Muyunsky uranium-radium mines . Probably, it was from here that the “exile to uranium mines” went to the ordinary - the Russian land is full of rumors. You can't throw a word out of a song - you shouldn't forget the colossal contribution of many thousands of nameless convicts of the GULAG to the creation of the USSR nuclear shield.

Subsequently, the Soviet Union took control of uranium deposits in Eastern Europe - in Bulgaria (Goten and Strelcha), the GDR (Wismut), Czechoslovakia (Yakhimov), and Poland (the Schmiedeberg mine). In Romania, from the beginning of 50, the Soviet-Romanian enterprise Sovromkvarts operated in the mining of uranium ore supplied to the USSR.
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  1. mar4047083
    mar4047083 25 November 2017 07: 28
    Whom do you refer to the mining of uranium ore there? Which "Gulag", what "convicts"? Those who wanted to work in the Ministry of Secondary Engineering were checked by their grandparents for criminal records, anti-Soviet activities and relatives abroad. You will not be allowed to get close to uranium mining if the criminal past becomes clear. I'm not talking about the processing of raw materials.
    1. Cat Marquis
      Cat Marquis 25 November 2017 08: 27
      C'mon, lie ... "Under Stalin," only convicts pushed trolleys in uranium mines, because they lived after that no more than a year ... By the way, uranium was also mined in Ukraine and even in the Krasnodar Territory ....
      1. mar4047083
        mar4047083 25 November 2017 16: 19
        In the Stavropol Territory, in Pyategorsk.
        1. 26rus
          26rus 25 November 2017 16: 53
          Quote: mar4047083
          In the Stavropol Territory, in Pyategorsk.

          Not in Pyatigorsk itself, not far from it, is the city of Lermontov.
          1. mar4047083
            mar4047083 25 November 2017 20: 20
            I am excusable, I do not live there. To be honest, everything is the same for me Pyatigorsk, Lermontov, Zheleznovodsk mountain is one.
        2. Cat Marquis
          Cat Marquis 26 November 2017 06: 20
          Gelendzhik "behind the pass" has a "uranium mine." In any case, the locals call it that and bypass the “tenth road” —there are the rest of the camp ...
          1. mar4047083
            mar4047083 26 November 2017 07: 57
            More than likely, this is an invented myth. The situation may be better clarified by the "East Wind". In fact, uranium mines are less dangerous than coal mines. If it were actually local residents, it is doubtful that they would be afraid of an incomprehensible mine. If you listen to all the myth-makers about the hurls, then the whole industry of the USSR is the work of the "convicts", only "fines" won in the war. I repeat, it is surprising that they did not write how the "convicts" launched rockets. The myth-makers have problems with the technical part, otherwise, any chemical plant would have its own mini-Gulag.
            1. Cat Marquis
              Cat Marquis 26 November 2017 11: 30
              You tell this to my grandmother, convicted of being "late for work" (the child fell ill, by the way, then died) and was serving her term in her workplace. And how many were there?
      2. Standard
        Standard 25 November 2017 16: 45
        Quote: Cat Marquis
        By the way, uranium was also mined in Ukraine and even in the Krasnodar Territory ....

        The main one is Central Asia.
    2. Standard
      Standard 25 November 2017 16: 23
      Quote: mar4047083
      Those wishing to work in the Ministry of Secondary Engineering

      This is Sredmash.
      And at 44 he was not there.
    3. zoolu350
      zoolu350 26 November 2017 07: 59
      Well, the most dangerous and "dirty" work on uranium mining, just need to be trusted to the "enemies of the people", because the risk of information leakage at this stage is minimal, but the process of manufacturing "products" in compliance with safety standards with filtering employees is completely with you I agree.
    4. RL
      RL 27 November 2017 11: 19
      There is also a historical event - uranium mining in Czechoslovakia.
      In 1945, the Soviet government, for a long period of time, agreed with the Czechoslovak government on the supply of uranium to the USSR from Czechoslovakia, from the deposit area - Jáchymov. They didn’t agree on the price (a penny in comparison with the fact that the United States paid the South African Republic for the same product), and at some time an offer (order) came from Moscow that uranium supplies to the USSR would not be carried out on the basis of trade agreement, but on the basis of fraternal mutual assistance (not to be confused with CMEA), but all the same, the USSR sent some money, though always with opposition.
      By January 1, 1946, the Czechoslovak-Soviet uranium mining commission arose. For the Czechoslovak side - engineers Rada and Kovarzh, for the Soviet - Volokhov and Dashkevich. Due to the urgent need for uranium supplies, until 1948 both German miners and German prisoners of war and Soviet prisoners of war from German concentration camps worked at the mines. After the Stalinists came to power in Czechoslovakia in 1948, they began to send to the mines, having previously built concentration camps in Jáchymov, Czechoslovak unreliable and insufficiently socialist-minded people. In 1951, this camp turned into a liquidation camp - they killed it for the slightest violation.
      There were several camps of this type, after 1948 in Czechoslovakia, connected with uranium - 16. In addition, there were camps "both coal and wood." There were also indicative trials with the sentence "execute". In these camps and under these processes, soldiers and officers who fought against the Nazis in the French, British, American, and even Soviet armies also fell. Partisans and underground members of a different political spectrum, but who also fought against the Nazis in Czechoslovakia. Just everyone who did not like the Stalinists for various reasons.
      This is where the dog of distrust of the modern large geographically, eastern state is buried. I don’t know what to call, you yourself still have not decided on the name of either Russia, or Soviet Russia, or the USSR, or the Russian Federation.
      On the one hand, YES! The Soviet Union helped Eastern Europe get rid of the yoke of fascist Germany, but brought with it, less bloody, but still bloody decision-making power. After 1961, there were no more executions in political processes, but political prisons remained. "The son is not responsible for the father"? We have many politically unreliable children who could not get higher education. They did not take them to institutes on the basis of directives from the highest places.
      And after the "fraternal help" there is nothing to reproach us, in general, with the fact that we "forgot". By its actions, the USSR itself adjusted the feeling of "gratitude."
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 25 November 2017 07: 47
    You won’t throw words out of the song - you should not forget the enormous contribution of many thousands of nameless convicts of the Gulag
    ..... For some time the prisoners were really involved in these works, but they were by no means suicide bombers, the contingent was selected differently, from criminals to political, but such developments required a certain mining qualification. More often than not, convicts worked on the surface, and the same geologists mainly descended into the faces.

    1. Standard
      Standard 25 November 2017 16: 25
      Quote: parusnik
      and the same geologists descended mainly into the faces.

      A. Gorodnitsky tells it well. His distribution was just for “uranium mines”.
  3. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 25 November 2017 08: 33
    The note is very superficial, and not complete - where about the notebook of the murdered German officer with notes about the uranium problem? Again, instead of a clear statement of the solution to this issue over the years, the usual whining about the Gulag and the naive thesis that this problem should have been dealt with as soon as possible (before the war?). Less note, even the article does not pull.
    1. sibiryouk
      sibiryouk 25 November 2017 09: 05
      I don’t know how in Stalin’s times it was, I didn’t live then. And in the 70s, in order to get a job in the nuclear industry, it was necessary to pass a 2-month check by filling out 5 questionnaires, and it wasn’t a fact that they would take it;
      1. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 25 November 2017 09: 09
        Here I am about the same. On the zero cycle, digging a pit, maybe criminals were used, and then they were not close. An author like a Urengoy schoolboy, spreads liberal myths.
        1. Standard
          Standard 25 November 2017 16: 31
          Quote: Aviator_
          On the zero cycle, digging a pit, maybe criminals were used, and then they were not close.

          Zeks are not only criminals.

          All commentators are so bruised by the howl of the "gulags" that even the truth is the real truth! - they cannot recognize.

          You at least read something about Berlag.
          After all, people really died, at least some justification for the death is the creation of a bomb against the adversary.

          Liberasts can rejoice. Be ashamed ...
          1. Aviator_
            Aviator_ 25 November 2017 18: 44
            [/ quote] Zeks are not only criminals. [quote]
            Are you talking about the political - policemen, Bandera and Vlasovites?
          2. mar4047083
            mar4047083 25 November 2017 20: 12
            Just grab and read the normal literature on uranium mining and processing, and then find a place for “convicts” and “Gulag” in this chain. Only then begin to shame someone. According to your logic, after Stalin this is a secret proceeding that requires special access, and during the life of Stalin every criminal rabble worked on this proceeding. It is strange that the Gulag missiles do not collect or launch, do not produce rocket fuel components, do not produce chemical warfare agents, and these are more dangerous things than uranium. People really died, and just like in any production, and these were not “convicts”, but ordinary workers, engineers and scientists. My father died in a mine, and not from a murderous dose of radiation, but from a fire. In the coal mines of Donbas, many more people died, but for some reason there was no “Gulag” there. Fewer slops like this article and other Berlags, Archipilagos and other Herlags.
            1. old_pferd
              old_pferd 26 November 2017 07: 18
              Do not be so categorical. At the end of the forties, uranium was desperately needed, so it was mined wherever possible. In the Northeast (I’m not talking about the rest, I don’t know well) uranium was developed at two deposits - the North (now Chaunsky district of Chukotka) and Butugychag (Tenkinsky district of the Magadan region). These are small deposits, developed only from the need to obtain uranium at any cost now. As soon as production was adjusted in Central Asia, they were closed in the early 50s. This was the territory of Dalstroy, and there was no other work force, except for the convicts. The ruins of the camps are still there.
              1. phair
                phair 14 February 2018 11: 25
                Zhigulin Anatoly (1930-2000)
                I remember the Butugychag mine ...
                V. Filin

                I remember
                Butugychag Mine
                And woe
                Comrades in the eyes.

                Mean joy
                Generous misfortune
                And blue
                Voiced ore.

                I remember those
                Who forever conceived
                In the valley
                Where is the Butugychag mine.

                And so I found out
                Today from the newspapers
                What is there long ago
                There are no zones or towers.

                What's on the ridge
                To the very height
                Grow big
                White flowers...

                Oh nuggets
                Unforgettable days
                In empty dumps
                In my memory!

                I'm looking for you
                I'm in a hurry there again
                Where is the blue
                Dusty ore.

                Hello to you,
                Abandoned mine
                What to gray hill
                In silence pricked!

                I remember yours
                Thick uneven hum.
                You my life then
                Flipped over.

                Hello to you,
                My fate is a lever
                Uranium mine
                1. Weyland
                  Weyland 29 March 2018 22: 41
                  Quote: phair
                  Zhigulin Anatoly (1930-2000)
                  I remember the Butugychag mine ...

                  I read his memoirs "Black Stones". I agree, in our time, for the shot in the president’s portrait, the “chervonets” camps are not soldered - but name it innocently convicted is still difficult!
        2. The comment was deleted.
      2. Golovan Jack
        Golovan Jack 25 November 2017 09: 50
        Quote: sibiryouk
        in the 70s, in order to get a job in the nuclear industry, it was necessary to pass a 2-month test by filling out 5 questionnaires ...

        That in Sredmash (atom), then in General Mash (space) the questionnaire was one. Check 2 months, yes. And the third form of admission at the exit.
        Quote: sibiryouk
        usually they didn’t take convicted

        They didn’t take any convicted from the word at all. They could also not have taken it if the next of kin (parents, siblings, relatives, husband and wife) had problems ... and not only by conviction.
        1. Standard
          Standard 25 November 2017 16: 33
          Quote: Golovan Jack
          and not only by conviction.

          For example, the residence of relatives in Ukraine during the war.
          I remember how it surprised me.
          Now it’s clear what was the matter.
  4. andrewkor
    andrewkor 25 November 2017 09: 08
    And the Novoisky MMC, founded in 1958, for some reason is not mentioned, insulting, damn it!
    1. Standard
      Standard 25 November 2017 16: 43
      Quote: andrewkor
      for some reason it’s not mentioned, insulting, damn it!

      Not just him.
      The main thing is the topic.
  5. Fitter65
    Fitter65 25 November 2017 14: 48
    we should not forget the enormous contribution of many thousands of nameless prisoners of the Gulag to the creation of the nuclear shield of the USSR.

    But I’d just like to clarify with the author that everyone was innocently convicted, 100% illegally repressed. Or was there still a certain percentage of the criminal element, as well as traitors who went over to the side of the enemy, Bandera and some rabble? Or uranium mines there were only innocent condemned victims of the regime? It’s not strange, but when you read about the unfortunate ZK who built the Belomorkanap, or who worked on a logging campaign, you immediately feel such a liberal plow — repressed, political and other victims of Bolshevik-communist arbitrariness worked for sure, and look at that in the main the mass were criminals. Although our liberals and criminals under the Soviet regime are innocent victims of the regime ...
  6. Standard
    Standard 25 November 2017 16: 36
    Useful and good article!
    The long-forgotten words (colormetmet, etc.) and - courage .... It is a pity for today's youth.
  7. Standard
    Standard 25 November 2017 16: 42
    Quote: Fitter65
    there all were innocently convicted, 100% illegally repressed. Or there still came across a certain percentage of the criminal element

    There is an episode with the Polar Urals.
    It was necessary to build a plant.
    The project provided for a housing estate with full infrastructure.
    It was up to people - no one wanted to go to such a climate.

    And then organized (and built!) CAMP.
    Question: who was repressed there? (profession, state of health, gender - and what else).
    And the fault was to organize skills.
    So everything is simple.
  8. Looking for
    Looking for 25 November 2017 16: 49
    Quote: Golovan Jack
    Check 2 months, yes. And the third form of admission at the exit.

    it was everywhere, in all specific enterprises.
  9. kipage
    kipage 25 November 2017 17: 58
    All to the uranium mines!
  10. zav
    zav 25 November 2017 19: 56
    Not about uranium, but about who and where they sent.
    In the fifties, a hydroelectric power station was built on the Belaya River in the Krasnodar Territory (commissioned in 1954). Walking excavators were brought to the construction site. One of the first in the country, almost the only ones. Allowed to work on excavators only the best, most worthy, most trusted Communists and Komsomol members.
    As time passed, they began to direct in an orderly manner, as to the penal servitude of the worst and worst of the Communists, it is clear who got it. Life made.
    So it’s not always necessary to look for a political or whatever background.
  11. old_pferd
    old_pferd 26 November 2017 07: 27
    A bit poor. There is a book The Creation of the First Soviet Nuclear Bomb Mikhailov VN (ed.) Energoatomizdat 1995, there the theme is much better painted.