Ussr Nuclear Weapons Essay

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USSR / former USSR and Nuclear Weapons I. Intro A. Who started program and why i. Yakov Zel’dovich and Yuli Khariton: publish series of papers laing groundwork for Soviet atomic weapons development (1939-41) ii. Begin during WWII (1943) under physicist Igor Vasilievich Kurchatov iii. Program begin by reports collected by Soviet intelligence about Manhattan Project (US) > mostly intelligence operation, until end of war (highly successful b/c sympathy for wartime Soviet fighting Nazi, socialist political sympathies, weak security screening program needed for quick assembly of big program) iv. Right after war end w/Japan > Lavrenti Beria = head of entire project, Kurchatov = scientific director … w/ data available on American program / design decription of “Fat Man Bomb” provided by Fuchs (June 1945) > achieve first test in almost 4 yrs II. Tests (test explosions) A. First nuclear weapons, test drives i. First Soviet nuclear reactor / first nuclear reactor in Europe = went critical on ii. Second nation to detonate nuclear device (August 29, 1949) Christmas day 1946, 6 p.m. local time @ Kurchatov Institute in Moscow iii. First Soviet nuclear test (code named "First Lightning") detonate a plutonium bomb (the RDS-1), code designation RDS actually arbitrary and meaningless, but various people on the project gave it a variety of interpretations ((one popular one was "Reaktivnyi Dvigatel Stalina" (Stalin's Rocket Engine), or "Russia Does It Alone")), whole focus of the Soviet program = set off a Soviet atomic blast @ earliest possible time whatever the cost (((At Beria's insistence, this device was an exact copy of the U.S. Gadget/Fat Man design))) iv. 124 “peaceful nuclear explosions” B. Failed tests III. USSR use of Nuclear Weapons A. Lakes and recevoirs IV. Former USSR Republics A. Where located i. Russia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine ii. US
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