70 celebrates the years of the domestic nuclear industry. She is counting her official stories from the decree of the State Defense Committee No. 9887ss / op “On the Special Committee at the GFCS” dated August 20, 1945, however, Russia came up to the approaches to the atomic problem much earlier - even if we bear in mind directly weapons its aspect.
The Soviet leadership has been aware of atomic work in England and in the USA, at least since the fall of 1941, and on September 28, 1942, the first order of the State Defense Committee No. 2352ss “On the organization of work on uranium” was adopted.
11 February 1943 issued an order of GKO no. GKO-2872ss, where Deputy Chairman of the USSR SNK and the Chemical Industry Competement Mikhail Pervukhin and Chairman of the Committee for Higher School Affairs at the SNK of the USSR Sergei Kaftanov ordered to “day-to-day manage uranium and provide systematic assistance to the special nuclear laboratory of the Academy Sciences USSR. The scientific management was assigned to Professor Igor Kurchatov, who was to “conduct the necessary research by July 1 1943 and submit a report on the possibility of creating a uranium bomb or uranium fuel to the State Defense Committee by July 5 July 1943.”
Politburo was appointed as the curator of the atomic works by Vyacheslav Molotov, but it didn’t go to the beginning Atomic project, and 19 in May 1944, Mr. Pervukhin sent a letter to Stalin, where he suggested “to create a Council on uranium for day-to-day monitoring and assistance in carrying out uranium, approximately in this composition: 1) t. Beria L.P. (Chairman of the Board), 2) T. Molotov V.M., 3) T. Pervukhin MG (Deputy Chairman), 4) Academician IV Kurchatov. "
Pervukhin decided to take the right step: not formally going against Molotov, to offer Stalin the curators of the atomic problem of the one who could become for her a true “engine” - Beria. Stalin rarely rejected reasonable proposals, especially since Pervukhin did not stop at that, and together with Igor Kurchatov 10 July 1944 sent Beria as Vice-Chairman of the State Defense Committee a note on the development of works on the uranium problem in the USSR, to which was attached The point looked like this: “To organize under the State Defense Committee a Council on Uranium for day-to-day monitoring and assistance in carrying out work on the problem of uranium consisting of: Comrade. Beria L.P. (chairman), comrade. Pervukhin M.G. (Deputy Chairman), Comrade. Kurchatov I.V. Molotov, as we see, has already been directly deduced “out of the brackets”.
The first order of the USSR State Defense Committee on the organization of work on uranium was made in 1942.
29 September 1944 Kurchatov wrote a letter to Beria, ending with the words: “... knowing your exceptionally large employment, I, because of the historical significance of the uranium problem, decided to disturb you and ask you to give instructions about such an organization of work that would correspond to the possibilities and the significance of our Great State in world culture. "
And December 3 1944 was adopted by the Decree of the GOKO No. XXUMXCC “On urgent measures to ensure the deployment of work carried out by Laboratory No. XXUMX of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR”. The last, tenth paragraph of the resolution read: “To impose on t. Beria L.P. monitoring the development of uranium work. ”
However, even then, atomic work was not fully launched - it was necessary to end the war, and the possibility of creating weapons based on the fission chain reaction remained an issue that was still problematic, backed up only by calculations.
Gradually, everything cleared up - 10 July 1945. Commissar of State Security Merkulov sent Beria a message No. 4305 / m about preparing an atomic bomb test in the USA indicating the alleged “explosion force” equivalent to five thousand tons of TNT ”.
The actual energy release of the explosion in Alamogordo, produced by 16 on July 1945, was 15-20 thousand tons of TNT equivalent, but these were details. It was important that the intelligence warned Beria in time, and Beria warned Stalin, who was going to the Potsdam conference, which was scheduled to start on July 17, 1945. Therefore, Stalin so calmly met a joint provocation of Truman and Churchill when the American president informed Stalin about successful testing. bombs, and the British Prime Minister watched the reaction of the Soviet leader.
Finally, the urgent need to force the Soviet work on "uranium" became clear after the tragedy of Hiroshima, because on August 6 1945 the main secret of the atomic bomb was publicly disclosed - that it is possible.
The Soviet reaction to this event was the establishment of a Special Committee with extraordinary powers to solve any problems of the “Uranium Project” headed by Lawrence Beria. For the “direct management of research, design, design organizations and industrial enterprises on the use of uranium intraatomic energy and the production of atomic bombs”, the First Main Directorate (PSU) under the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR was organized under the authority of the Special Committee. Boris Vannikov became the head of the Perm State University.
DESIRING TO TOLD ABOUT THE MADE OPEN
Today, all this is quite well known - at least to the historians of the Soviet Atomic Project. However, it is much less known that in 1952-1953. on the instructions and edited by Beria by the secretariat of the Special Committee under the USSR Council of Ministers, a draft version of the “Collection on the history of the atomic energy in the USSR” was prepared with the participation of nuclear industry specialists. The collection was supposed to openly talk about Soviet atomic work in almost real time. The idea was fruitful, with great potential, but in the end this interesting document of the era did not see the light. It was first introduced in 2005 in the fifth book of the second volume of the collection “Atomic Project of the USSR. Documents and materials ", but did not leave a separate edition.
In the USA, a book by GD was published in 1945. Smith "Nuclear energy for military purposes. Official report on the development of the atomic bomb under the supervision of the US government "- a detailed history of the Manhattan project. In 1946, the book was translated and published in the USSR. Beria was preparing for the open press the Russian analogue of the Smith report, which had the following contents:
1. Brief information on atomic energy.
2. The success of Soviet science is not accidental.
3. The atomic bomb is a new weapon of the American imperialists.
4. The difficulties of solving the atomic problem in a short time.
5. “Forecasts” of American, British and other public figures and scientists about the possibility of the USSR solving the atomic problem.
6. Organization of work to solve the problem of mastering atomic energy and the secret of atomic weapons.
7. The solution of the main tasks.
8. Creation of the material base for the further development of works on nuclear physics.
9. The test of the first atomic bomb is a triumph of Soviet science and technology.
10. Successful testing of the atomic bomb - the collapse of the "predictions" of the US-British war-mongers.
11. Development of work on the use of atomic energy for the needs of the national economy.
The open Soviet analogue of the US government report on the development of the atomic bomb in the United States had its own distinctive structure. Moreover, the book was built so logically that it can be taken as a basis even for modern work on this topic.
The book with legal pride emphasized that already before the war in the USSR a national physical school was created, the sources of which go to the works of old Russian scientists. In the section "The success of Soviet science is not accidental," it says:
“In the 1922 year, Vernadsky predicted:“ ... We are approaching a great revolution in the life of mankind, with whom everything he experienced earlier cannot match. The time is not far away when a person will get atomic energy in his hands, such a source of power that will enable him to build his life as he wishes.
It can happen in the coming years, it can happen in a century. But it is clear that it should be. Will a person be able to use this power, to direct it for good, and not for self-destruction? Has he grown to the ability to use the force that science must inevitably give him?
Scientists should not turn a blind eye to the possible consequences of their scientific work, scientific progress. They should feel responsible for the consequences of their discoveries. They must link their work with the best organization of all mankind. ”
In fact, the collection “The history of the mastery of atomic energy in the USSR” was to be a report of the USSR government to the peoples of the USSR — a time came when people had to learn that they were undernourished and even starved, wore padded jackets, lived closely after the war, not least because of that huge funds were spent on ensuring the peaceful future of the country.
The Soviet people had to find out also what a magnificent feat and in what short time it had accomplished by creating not only an atomic bomb, but also a new powerful branch of the economy — an atomic bomb.
To characterize the Russian-Soviet civilization, it is indicative that Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky cited the above ideas expressed 33 year before the Russell-Einstein manifesto, which called for the scientists of the world to "remember their duties to humanity."
But it is significant to characterize the Russian-Soviet civilization and the fact that these very thoughts of Vernadsky were included in the official government collection. That is, unlike the leaders of the West, the leaders of the USSR were imbued with a natural desire for peace, a natural sense of responsibility for a peaceful, free and developed future of the world. No wonder it was in the USSR during the time of Stalin that the great slogan was born: “Peace to the world!”
SOVIET BOMB - WEAPON OF THE WORLD
The introduction to the compendium dated 15 June 1953 said:
“After the first copies of atomic bombs were made and tested by the United States of America in 1945, aggressive US leaders began to conquer world domination with the help of new weapons.
The ashes of the Second World War, in which the peoples of Europe and Asia were involved by the inglorious adventurer Hitler, fed by Anglo-American capital, did not cool down, as in the United States began extensive preparations for the new adventure - the atomic war. Impressed by the barbaric explosions of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, US aggressors raised a boom about America’s chosen role on the globe, about the unsurpassed power of American science and technology, about the inability of any country to solve the atomic problem.
... The monopoly possession of the atomic bomb gave reason for the American imperialists to claim world domination, allowed them to negotiate on a number of post-war problems, as US Secretary of War Henry Stimson put it, "shaking his hands" with an atomic bomb. The rulers of the United States — Truman and Co., with the help of atomic blackmail, began to knock together military blocs against the USSR and the countries of people's democracy, to occupy territories in the neighboring countries of the USSR for the construction of American military bases.
Atomic hysteria was accompanied by widespread propaganda of the inevitability of atomic war and invincibility in this war by the United States. Above the peoples of the world is the imminent threat of a new atomic war unprecedented in its destructive consequences.
The interests of preserving peace forced the Soviet Union to create atomic weapons ...
Among the propagandists of the new war there were quite a few different “prophets” who argued that, supposedly, Soviet science and technology were not able to solve the complex and difficult problem of obtaining atomic energy. The announcement of the first atomic explosion in the USSR in 1949 was a crushing blow to the instigators of the new war ...
The glorious history of the implementation of the Stalinist plan for the mastery of atomic energy is the subject of this collection.
It briefly presents the data that answers the question of why the Soviet Union was able in such a short time to solve the most complex scientific and technical problems of mastering atomic energy and overcome the enormous difficulties that stood before it in the implementation of the atomic problem.
Were in the draft collection "History of the mastery of atomic energy in the USSR" and these words:
“In the US, the atomic problem is a big and profitable business. The atomic problem in the Soviet Union is not a business and not a scarecrow, but one of the greatest problems of our time ... If there were no threat of an atomic attack and the need to create a reliable defense of a socialist state, all the forces of scientists and technicians would be focused on using atomic energy to develop peaceful industries National economy…
In the USSR, an atomic bomb was created as a means of protection, as a guarantee of further peaceful development of the country ... In the USSR there are no groups that have interests different from those of the entire people.
In the US, an atomic bomb is a means of enriching a handful of people, a nightmare, a curse for the people. The atomic bomb is a means of mass hysteria, leading people to nervous shocks, suicides.
The Soviet Union had to urgently create its atomic bomb and thereby withdraw the impending threat of a new world war ... The atomic bomb in the hands of the Soviet people is a guarantee of peace. Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, correctly assessed the significance of the Soviet atomic bomb, saying: “The significance of atomic discovery may help prevent war.”
The above text is a statement of the official Soviet view on the problem of nuclear weapons already in the 1950-s. In the West, the US atomic bomb was officially and openly regarded as a means of dictatorship, as a weapon for a completely possible nuclear attack on the USSR. The leadership of the Soviet Union immediately saw Soviet nuclear weapons as a factor in stabilizing and deterring potential aggression.
And this is a historical fact!
How often today they are trying to present Stalin and Beria with certain moral monsters, soulless manipulators, with the fate of hundreds of millions of people, and they and their associates lived and worked for peace and creation. They were organically alien to destruction, death, war — unlike the current West and the United States, which cannot live without killing, destroying, not suppressing the will and freedom of nations.
INSTEAD OF HONORABLE GLORY - UNKNOWNNESS
Alas, the collection on the history of the mastery of atomic energy in the USSR did not become public, because with the arrest of Beria the idea was buried, and the country did not know what great thing she did or the names of the heroes of the atomic epic. The IDs of Heroes of Socialist Labor issued to gunsmiths at gunmen even at the end of 1950's, lacked their photographs, and in place of the photo there was a stamp “Indeed without a photograph”.
The consequences of the stupid perennial over-closure were first revealed during perestroika, when the main gunsmiths of the country were publicly “stigmatized” as “blind hawks”. We are clearing this “porridge” to this day. Russia still does not fully understand what national value it is - its atomic gunsmiths. And this is not understood, not least because during the reign of Nikita Khrushchev, the feat of the pioneers and their shifts were in fact silenced. This happened, perhaps because if excessive secrecy would have been removed from the work of the nuclear weapons complex, the name of Beria, hated for the Khrushchevites, would have surfaced in everyday conversations.
Beria himself did not engage in self-promotion, and in his volume, more than one hundred pages, rough sketches of a future open collection on the atomic history of the USSR, his name was mentioned only three times in purely official phrases.
Here are all of them:
1) “Based on the special nature of the task assigned to the country, the management of all the work on the atomic problem, Comrade Stalin (by the way, the name of Stalin is also very rarely met and appropriate - author's note) entrusted his faithful and closest associate, Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria. Comrade Beria L.P. was appointed Chairman of the Special Committee. "
2) “From the first days of its activities, the Special Committee under the leadership of Comrade L.P. On a broad front, Beria commanded the organization and construction of new scientific institutions, design bureaus and experimental facilities and the expansion of the work of organizations previously involved in solving the atomic problem. ”
3) “On the progress of construction (of the first reactor — author’s comment) by comrade L.P. Beria was reported daily, relief measures were taken immediately. ”
And this is all that is in the collection of Beria.
At the same time, the materials to the collection contain very complementary assessments to others: “Comrade Stalin's closest ally, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Georgy Maximilianovich Malenkov,” “the greatest scientist in the field of nuclear physics, academician I.V. Kurchatov ”,“ experienced economic managers and talented engineers B.L. Vannikov, A.P. Zavenyagin, M.G. Pervukhin, V.A. Makhnev "," an experienced engineer and a wonderful organizer E.P. Slavsky "," energetic, knowledgeable engineer and good organizer A.S. Elyan.
By the end of 1953, Beria intended to declassify all the major participants in Soviet atomic work — scientists, engineers, and managers — and bring them into the circle of wide public attention! In the "Materials ..." dozens of names were mentioned, including those that became known in their own country only decades later!
A separate section was devoted to the training of personnel, and Stalin's thought organically entered the text: “The Russian revolutionary scope is the life-giving force that awakens thought, moves forward, breaks the past, gives perspective. Without it, no forward movement is possible. ”
It was a detailed portrait of the Atomic Project, and to this day it is an unfinished portrait.
RUSSIA DOES SAME
The draft compilation mentioned the names of M.V. Lomonosov, D.I. Mendeleev, V.I. Vernadsky, A.G. Stoletov, P.N. Lebedeva, N.A. Umova, P.P. Lazarev, D.S. Rozhdestvensky, L.S. Kolovrat-Chervinsky, L.V. Mysovskogo, V.G. Khlopin, was quoted by the Russian chemist Beketov, who in 1875 in the textbook on inorganic chemistry suggested that if the divisibility of an atom is found, then the processes associated with the divisibility will be accompanied by a huge change in energy.
It was further reported that in pre-revolutionary Russia, all physical work was concentrated on a few departments of physics in higher educational institutions in modestly equipped laboratories, and the only Physical Research Institute was built in Moscow in 1912 with private donations. But after the October Revolution, a number of research institutes in physics began to be organized in Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov, and in 1933, at the first All-Union conference on the atomic nucleus, a number of Soviet physicists could already make presentations on the main problems of nuclear physics.
The collection referred to the priorities of L.I. Mandelstam, M.A. Leontovich, V.I. Veksler, noted the pre-war works I.E. Tamm, D.D. Ivanenko, I.V. Kurchatov, K.A. Petrzhaka, G.N. Flerova, Yu.B. Khariton, Ya.B. Zeldovich, and then the conclusion was made: "Thus, by the beginning of the Patriotic War, the work of Soviet scientists opened up the possibility of using nuclear energy in principle ... Soviet science had the keys to solving the fundamental problems of mastering atomic energy."
In the US, there were enough “specialists in the Russian question” who spoke of the “backwardness” of Soviet science. The head of the Manhattan Project, Major General Groves, in 1945, stated: “Any other country will need 15-20 years to create an atomic bomb. Only those who worked on the construction of nuclear plants ... know how difficult it is and what almost impossible precision is required. Only they are also aware of the fact that the incorrect operation of any small part will put the plant out of operation for several months. ”
He was echoed by Ellsworth Raymond, a consultant on the Russian economy at the US Department of Defense, and John Hogerton, head of the technical information department at Kellex Corporation: “Today, Soviet industry ranks second in the world, but this is not the industry ... Russian industry is mainly engaged in the production of heavy rough equipment, such as steel-smelting furnaces and steam locomotives ... The branches of Soviet industry producing precision instruments are underdeveloped and produce low-quality products. ”
But there were sound voices. Thus, in the Soviet collection, in addition to the above, the views of Harvard University professor Shaply and the director of research laboratories of General Electric Professor Langmuir were cited.
Shapley in October 1945 at a meeting of the US Senate Commission reported that he was familiar with the scientific work of the Soviet Union for many years and was struck by the interest of the Soviet Union in science. Shaply called the progress of the Soviet Union in the field of theoretical and scientific research excellent.
Professor Lengmyur in December 1945 also stressed the great respect of Russian for science and said that Soviet scientists are superior to scientists around the world in many processes.
The grounds for such statements were. For example, in the collection of documents and memories of one of the leading participants of the Soviet Atomic Project Lev Altshuler published in 2011, a significant fact is presented. In 1946, while he was still working at the Institute of Chemical Physics, Jacob Zeldovich drew two implosion schemes (an inward explosion) on the board. One was based on the compression of a ball of fissile material, and the second on the compression ("collapse") of a spherical shell of fissile material. Zeldovich suggested Altschuler to evaluate how the neutron path will change for both variants, and after evaluations it became clear that the shell variant is much better.
When Altshuler in 1947 began working in Sarov in KB-11, he immediately asked Chief Designer Yuli Borisovich Khariton - why was a relatively inefficient version of the simple compression of the ball, not the shell, chosen for our bomb? Khariton answered evasively, because he could not say that in order to avoid risk and in order to shorten the development time for our first experiment, the American charge scheme obtained by intelligence was chosen. But already in KB-11 they understood that the best design variant is the third, shell-nuclear, combining the merits of the first two.
And here is the second such example (there are dozens, if not hundreds, of them).
In the first American atomic bomb (and, accordingly, in our RDS-1), an internal polonium-beryllium neutron source in the center of the charge was used. But still in the middle of 1948, Zeldovich proposed using an external neutron pulse initiator (“neutron tube”), and although this option was actually tested only in 1954 testing, the work on it began a year before the RDS-1 test.
As you can see, Soviet physicists really thought quite independently.
At the same time, the authors of the draft of the collection and Beria himself were not covered by leaven patriotism, and the draft of the collection directly referred to the participation of German scientists in Soviet work on nuclear physics and radiochemistry:
“Among the German specialists who arrived in the summer of 1945 to work in the Soviet Union were prominent scientists: Nobel Prize winner Professor Hertz, theoretical physicist Dr. Barvih, an expert in the field of gas discharge Dr. Steinbeck, a well-known physical chemist Professor Volmer, Dr. Schütz, professor of chemistry Thiessen, a major designer in the field of electronic technology Ardenne, specialists in radiochemistry and rare elements of Dr. Riel, Dr. Wirts and others.
Upon the arrival of German specialists in the Soviet Union, it was decided to build two more physical institutions ...
In one of the institutes under the leadership of the Ardenne (Manfred von Ardenne, one of the inventors of the electron microscope - author's note), Dr. Steinbeck and Professor Thiessen, already in 1945, the development of three different methods of uranium isotope separation was started.
At another institute, at the same time, work began under the guidance of Professor Hertz and Dr. Barvikha on the study of another method for the separation of uranium isotopes.
In the same institute, under the direction of Dr. Schütze, the construction of a mass spectrometer, which is important for physical research, was started. ”
As we see, Lavrenty Beria considered it not only possible, but also necessary, to officially recognize the fact of the participation of German specialists in the Soviet Atomic Project. After the murder of Beria, this topic remained shamefully and unworthily hidden, while in the West they knew about it, since all Germans by the middle of 1950's. returned home, mostly - in Germany. Moreover, there is reason to believe that Professor Steenbek appropriated a number of our ideas and design solutions for gas centrifuges for enriching uranium. But since the Germans did not officially recognize German participation in atomic work in the USSR, we could not make any claims.
Only in 1990-s. The “German footprint” was promulgated in Russia, but in a different submission - they say, “shovels” were not done without the “Vikings” here. The fact that in the USA the atomic problem (as, incidentally, the missile one) was solved, basically, was the “Varangians”, the then “researchers” lost sight of. In the USSR, the Germans did not play a leading role, and the most significant practical contribution to solving the Atomic Problem was made by Professor Nikolaus Riehl, who was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.
SURPRISING YOURSELF ...
The data obtained by intelligence accelerated domestic work, and the time factor was then the most important. But, with all the merits of intelligence, success would have been impossible without the grandiose efforts of many people. To understand this, it is enough to get acquainted at least with the extracts from Chapter IV of "Materials ...", entitled "The difficulties of solving the atomic problem in a short time." What was told in it about the collective efforts of the Soviet people to create a new branch of the national economy and eliminate the US atomic monopoly is striking in its scope, dedication, and fantastic pace.
This dry information is convincing and expressive in and of itself, and before you bring it to the reader, I will only emphasize one point - most often overlooked today.
When Beria met with the young physicist Sakharov, the future academician and three times Hero of Socialist Labor, at 1950, Sakharov asked Beria the question - why, they say, are we behind the United States? Beria patiently explained that dozens of companies are engaged in instrumentation in the United States, and we keep everything on the Leningrad Electrosil. However, Beria did not remind that only a quarter of a century before this conversation (with four years falling on the war), the USSR actually had no own instrument-making industry. And it was not because Tsarist Russia, while high-tech industries were born in the United States and Europe, slept ineptly and criminally.
Indeed, without, for example, a usual (usual, if you know how to make it and have equipment) a micrometer cannot be made even a regular one (usual, if you know how to make it and you have the necessary equipment) navigational chronometer. What can we say about the atomic reactor and the automatic detonation of the atomic bomb!
The layout of the world's first industrial nuclear power plant launched by 27 June 1954 in Obninsk.
So, below are fragments of Chapter IV, “The Difficulties of Solving the Atomic Problem in a Short Time,” from the draft version of the collection on the history of the atomic energy mastering in the USSR.
“Although the work of Soviet scientists, as mentioned above, established the fundamental possibilities of using nuclear energy, but the practical use of this opportunity was associated with enormous difficulties ...
At the end of 1945, a little more than 340 physicists worked in the main physical institutes of the country, and about 140 physicists, including those who had just started working in the field of physics of young scientists, worked on nuclear physics. These physicists worked in six research institutes.
In the field of radiochemistry at the end of 1945, only a little more than 4 people worked at 100 institutes. Such small staff of specialists to solve the radiochemical issues of atomic energy had nothing to think about. It was necessary to create new research centers and gather people to address these issues.
In the United States, when the atomic problem was solved, experts from around the world were strung together. Entire teams of physicists from other countries participated in the USA. All the results of their research, these physicists brought to the United States.
The chairman of the US Atomic Commission, G. Dean, at a meeting of the American Artillery Association in New York 5 in December 1951 reported that 1200 physicists work directly for the US atomic energy program.
The Russian scientists had to rely on their own strength in solving the atomic problem.
Secondly, in order to practically start using atomic energy, it was necessary to urgently resolve the issue of raw materials, and first of all, uranium ore.
In the United States, there was already a significant amount of uranium ore at the beginning of work in the field of atomic energy. Long before the outbreak of World War II, the United States had the most powerful radium mining industry in the world. Three-quarters of the world's radium mining came from the United States.
In the Soviet Union, at the start of work on the nuclear issue, there was only one deposit of uranium ore (in Fergana). The uranium content in this ore was hundreds of times lower than the ores processed at US plants. Thus, if the United States at the beginning of work on atomic energy was provided with uranium raw materials, then in the Soviet Union it was necessary to begin with the search for uranium raw materials, with the organization of geological exploration for uranium.
Third, in addition to uranium ore, a number of new materials and chemicals were required.
First of all, there was a need for high-purity graphite, such purity, which no industry of the Soviet Union knew. Production of graphite products existed (in the world - approx. Author) from the end of the last century ... In the Soviet Union, domestic graphite electrodes were first made in 1936. Atomic boilers could not be made without high-purity graphite products (atomic reactors - author's comment ).
Fourthly, to create atomic aggregates it was necessary to have heavy water. All information about heavy water production was available in the USA many years before the start of work on the atomic problem. In the Soviet Union, it was necessary to begin this work with research on the methods of obtaining heavy water and methods of its control. It was necessary to develop these methods, create specialists, build plants. And all this is done in a very short time.
Fifth, the production of pure metallic uranium for atomic units required very pure chemical reagents and reagents.
It was necessary to organize the production of metallic calcium, without which it was impossible to organize the production of uranium in a metallic form.
Before the beginning of World War II, there were only two factories in the world that manufactured calcium metal: one in France and one in Germany. In 1939, even before the German army occupied France, the Americans built a plant to produce metallic calcium using the technology obtained from France. In the Soviet Union, the production of metallic calcium was not.
In the United States there are more than a dozen companies that manufacture chemically pure reagents and reagents. These companies include such concerns as Dupont de Nemours, Carbide and Carbon Corporation, associated with the German IG Concern. Farben-industry.
Soviet chemists were faced with the task of creating the production of many dozens of chemicals of exceptionally high purity, which had not been previously manufactured in the country. This task Soviet chemists had to solve on their own.
Sixth, the work of physicists, chemists, and engineers required a wide variety of instruments. Many instruments of high sensitivity and high accuracy were required.
The country's instrument engineering has not yet recovered from the just ended war with Hitler Germany. Instrument making in Leningrad, Moscow, Kharkov, Kiev and other cities has not yet been fully restored after the war years. The immense destruction caused by the war made it impossible to quickly obtain the necessary equipment from the factories. It was necessary to quickly restore the destroyed factories and build new ones.
New requirements for precision instruments created new difficulties; the industry had not previously manufactured such precision instruments. Many hundreds of devices needed to be developed anew.
In the US, a large number of firms were involved in the design and manufacture of instruments. Only the manufacture of instruments for measuring and controlling nuclear radiation in the United States was occupied by 78 firms.
Long-term relations with instrument-making firms in Germany, England, France, Switzerland made it easier for US specialists to design new devices.
The instrument-making industry of the Soviet Union was somewhat lagging behind in its development compared with other industries. This industry in the Soviet Union is the youngest industry.
Attempts to purchase appliances abroad met with direct opposition from US government organizations. The only way left was to organize the development and manufacture of these devices in my country.
The picture was complemented and expanded by Chapter VII “Solving the Main Tasks”, with extracts from which to get acquainted is also interesting. At the same time, it is impossible not to notice: as if everything that had to be thrown at the solution of the Atomic Problem, was useful in the national economy for purely peaceful purposes of post-war reconstruction!
“1. Creation of a raw material base for uranium
a) Organization of extensive geological exploration of uranium ores
In the Soviet Union, there was only one small uranium ore deposit at the start of work on the nuclear issue. In 1946, the search for uranium deposits involved about 320 geological batches. By the end of 1945, geologists had already received the first instruments, and in the middle of 1952, only one Ministry of Geology received over 7000 radiometers and more than 3000 other radiometric instruments.
Only the Ministry of Geology before the middle of 1952 received from the industry (only for geological exploration of uranium and thorium - approx. Author) over 900 drilling rigs, about 650 special pumps, 170 diesel power plants, 350 compressors, 300 oil engines, 1650 cars, 200 tractors and many other equipment.
b) Construction of mining enterprises and processing plants for uranium
Before 1945, in the USSR there was only one mining enterprise engaged in the extraction of uranium ore. Mining enterprises received 80 mobile power stations, 300 mine lifts, over 400 rock-loading machines, 320 electric locomotives, around 6000 vehicles. For the processing plants were transferred over 800 pcs. different chemical process equipment.
As a result, mining enterprises and concentrators became exemplary enterprises.
2. Solution of the problem of obtaining pure uranium
Obtaining pure uranium is an extremely difficult technical task. In his book "Atomic Energy for Military Purposes," Smith writes that "this task was one of the most difficult for America and demanded the involvement of large specialists and a number of firms for a long time."
The difficulty of obtaining pure metal uranium is explained by the fact that the content of the most harmful impurities in uranium, inhibiting or stopping nuclear reactions, is allowed no more than millionths of a percent. Already insignificant portions of harmful impurities make uranium unsuitable for use in an atomic boiler.
Before 1945, there were not only highly sensitive methods for the determination of impurities in uranium, but there were also no necessary reagents for carrying out such delicate analytical work. Many new reagents were needed that were not previously manufactured at all. For work on uranium, it was necessary to have more than 200 of various reagents and more than 50 of various high-purity chemical reagents with some elements up to one millionth or even one billionth of a percent. In addition to the need for highly pure chemicals, the production of which had to be re-organized, a completely new apparatus was needed for all chemical processes.
Most of the materials commonly used in chemical engineering turned out to be unsuitable for this purpose. Conventional grades of stainless steels did not fit.
For the production of uranium metal, pure argon and metallic calcium were needed. Before 1945, there was a small argon production in the USSR, but this argon contained a large amount of nitrogen and could not be used for smelting uranium.
There was no production of metallic calcium in the Soviet Union at all. A new original technology for the production of high-purity metallic calcium was developed by workers at a uranium plant and introduced into production at the same plant.
Industrial production of uranium fluoride was unthinkable without the production of pure fluorine. There was no industrial production of fluorine in the country.
It was necessary to create new brands of glass for chemical glassware and apparatus, new brands of enamels, new crucible materials and molds for melting and casting uranium, as well as new compositions of plastics that are resistant to corrosive media.
There was an acute question about furnaces for smelting uranium. Get such a furnace was nowhere. Vacuum furnaces were built in the United States, but the United States government imposed a ban on the sale of such furnaces to the Soviet Union.
Since 1945, the Electric Furnace Trust has created 50 of various types of electric furnaces. ”
Not all of those who worked on the Atomic Project knew that they were working for him, and if the Soviet analogue of Smith’s book were openly published, the country would have been surprised to herself — so it turns out that we could do it ourselves, in such timing and so powerful!
I will cite only a part of the information reported in the unpublished “Soviet Smith”. For example, to isolate uranium-235 from natural uranium and to obtain almost pure uranium-235, the enrichment process should be repeated several thousand times, and in the diffusion method of isotope separation, uranium hexafluoride should be repeatedly passed through small-pore filters with pore sizes of not more than one micron. And such filters were created.
It was necessary to create vacuum pumps and other vacuum equipment, and in the USSR until the end of 1945, the development of research work on vacuum technology was limited to a very weak base of two laboratories.
One vacuum gauge of various types was required only for one 1947, over 3 thousand, backing pumps - over 4,5 thousand, high-vacuum diffusion pumps - over 2 thousand. Special high vacuum oils, putties, vacuum-tight rubber products, vacuum valves, valves, bellows, etc. were required.
And in the USSR powerful high-vacuum units with a capacity of 10-20 and 40 thousand liters per second were created, superior in power and quality to the latest American designs.
Only one atomic reactor was required to install about eight thousand different devices, including completely new ones. And from 1946 to 1952. Soviet instrument-making plants produced for work in the field of atomic energy 135,5 thousand devices of new designs and more than 230 thousand standard devices.
Along with the instrumentation, a series of special manipulators were designed and manufactured, which reproduced the movements of human hands and made it possible to perform subtle and complex operations.
These epoch-making work, which changed the scientific and technical image of the USSR, was impossible to perform without new personnel, and by 1951, special departments of higher educational institutions were able to train over 2,7 thousand specialists, including 1,5 thousand physicists of various specialties.
NEW PROBLEM - NEW SCIENTIFIC BASE
The draft collection not only summarized - without disclosing the deployment, the history of the creation of Laboratory No. XXUMX of the USSR Academy of Sciences and the “powerful uranium and plutonium technology institute - SRI-2”, but even reported that “for the development of atomic bomb design” organized "as a part of highly qualified specialists - scientists and designers - a special design bureau KB-9".
And then it was said:
“The organization of an atomic weapon design office has proven to be very difficult. In order to fully develop the design, manufacture and preparation of tests for the atomic bomb, it was necessary to carry out numerous calculations, studies and experiments. Calculations and studies required the highest accuracy and accuracy. Any error in the calculations, studies during the experiments threatened the greatest catastrophe.
The need for numerous studies and experiments with explosions, considerations of secrecy, as well as the need for close regular communication of KB-11 employees with other research organizations made it difficult to choose a site for the construction of KB-11.
The closest to these requirements was met by one of the small factories, remote from settlements and possessing sufficient production space and housing to start the first works.
This plant and it was decided to rebuild a design office for these purposes. "
The KB-11 dislocation (from 1966 in the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Arzamas-16-Cremlev, now in Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod region) even in 1970-1980's. was one of the most secret secrets of the USSR, although by that time it was an open secret for the West.
The very mention in open conversations about KB-11 in 1950-1970-s. it was inadmissible in the USSR, although it was clear that such an organization should exist in the USSR. Beria looked at the question reasonably - without disclosing the place where KB-11 is located, it is necessary to speak about his work in an open essay as far as possible.
An impressive narration of the collection is also about the prospects for the development of work in the field of studying the atomic nucleus and nuclear reactions. It was reported that in February 1946, the government decided to build a powerful cyclotron, providing protons with energy of half a billion electron-volts, designed to serve all the major institutes and laboratories working in the field of nuclear physics.
The American cyclotron at Berkeley was then regarded in the world literature as one of the remarkable structures of our time, and the authors of the collection proudly noted that the Soviet cyclotron surpasses the American one not only by the size of an electromagnet, but also by its technical perfection.
“Among the buildings erected by the builders,” the collection said, “the main building in which the electromagnet is located should be especially noted. This building is a monolithic reinforced concrete structure with a height up to 36 meters with walls two meters thick. ” A Soviet cyclotron (“M” unit) with an electromagnet weight of approximately 7 thousand tons was built in the area of the Ivankovo hydroelectric station in 125 km from Moscow. Work on the entire complex was completed in December 1949, but in the spring of 1952, it was decided to reconstruct the “M” facility to increase the proton energy to 650-680 million electron volts.
Today it is hard to believe that such tasks and at such times were accomplished on the same land that we now walk on.
It was told in the draft of the collection and on the construction of a powerful electron accelerator - a synchrotron, on the principle of phasing proposed in 1943-1944. Soviet physicist Vladimir Wexler.
Tolerances in the manufacture of the synchrotron magnet should not have exceeded tenths of a percent, otherwise the accelerator would stop working, but creating a camera to accelerate electrons was no less difficult. Experience in the manufacture of such porcelain products, allowing to obtain a high vacuum, in the USSR was not, and this task was solved by the team of the Porcelain Factory named after. Lomonosov.
But even before the launch of this largest synchrotron in the Physics Institute. Pn Lebedev, USSR Academy of Sciences in October 1949 was launched the intermediate electron accelerator "C-25" on 250 MeV.
2 May 1949 was adopted by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on the construction of a powerful proton ring accelerator - synchrophasotron, for energy in 10 billion electron-volts! Launched by Beria under development, it was commissioned on December 5 1957.
The final chapter described the development of work on the use of atomic energy for the needs of the national economy of the USSR and gave an impressive prospect of using the possibilities of the new - atomic - branch of the economy for purely national economic and social needs.
At the beginning of the article it was already noted that Russia, as a society, still has not read its atomic history in the way that our current situation requires. The accomplishments of past generations are a reproach for us, but, at the same time, an example. With this statement, the author ends his article, one of the goals of which was not only to tell about the accomplishments of the past, but also to orient compatriots towards the accomplishments of the future.