I. V. Kurchatov and the development of nuclear weapons in the USSR


An anniversary meeting, of the Scientific Council of the Kurchatov Institute, devoted to the 96th anniversary of the birthday, of the founder of the Institute, the prominent scientist and orgnaizer of science Academician Igor' Vasil'evich Kurchatov, was held on January 12, 1999 at the Institute. The report “Igor'Vasil'evich, Kurchatov and the Development of Nuclear Weapons in the USSR” was heard at the meeting.

Many discoveries and important scientific results in the field of nuclear physics, the creation of nuclear centers and scientific schools in our country, the birth of the nuclear industry and nuclear power, the initiation of work on the problem of thermonuclear fusion, and the development of international collaboration for peaceful uses of atomic energy are all linked with I. V. Kurchatov’s name.

The path that I. V. Kurchatov and his closest collaborators had to follow, from the inception of work on the atomic project up to the successful test of the first atomic bomb in USSR at the Semipalatinsk test site on August 29, 1949 is carefully analyzed on the basis of unique archival materials.

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Translated from Atomnaya Énergiya, Vol. 86, No. 4, pp. 275–296, April, 1999.

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Mikhailov, V.N., Goncharov, G.A. I. V. Kurchatov and the development of nuclear weapons in the USSR. At Energy 86, 266–282 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02673142

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  • Uranium
  • Plutonium
  • Nuclear Weapon
  • USSR Academy
  • Atomic Bomb