Actions

Description::RDS-1

::concepts

Soviet::atomic    Weapon::nuclear    First::category    Title::union    Peslyak::design    Truman::nuclear

Description The weapon was designed at the Kurchatov Institute—at the time officially known as "Laboratory № 2," but designated as the "office" or "base" in internal documents—starting in April 1946.<ref name="Peslyak"/> Plutonium for the bomb was produced at the industrial complex Chelyabinsk-40.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The RDS-1 explosion yielded 22 kilotons of TNT, similar to the American Gadget and Fat Man bombs. At Lavrenty Beria's insistence, the RDS-1 bomb was designed as an implosion weapon similar to the Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan; RDS-1 also had a solid plutonium core. The bomb designers had developed a more sophisticated design (tested later as RDS-2), but rejected it due to the known reliability of the Fat Man type design; the USSR having received extensive intelligence on the design of the Fat Man bomb during World War II.

In order to test the effects of the new weapon, workers constructed houses made of wood and bricks, along with a bridge, and a simulated metro in the vicinity of the test site. Armoured hardware and approximately 50 aircraft were also brought to the testing grounds, as well as over 1,500 animals to test the bomb's effects on life.<ref name="Peslyak"/> The resulting data showed the RDS explosion to be 50% more destructive than originally estimated by its engineers.<ref name="Peslyak"/>

There are several explanations for the USSR code-name of RDS-1, usually an arbitrary designation: a backronym "Special Jet Engine" (Реактивный двигатель специальный{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Reaktivnyi Dvigatel Spetsialnyi), or "Stalin's Jet Engine" (Реактивный двигатель Сталина{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Reaktivnyi Dvigatel Stalina), or "Russia does it herself" (Россия делает сама{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Rossiya Delayet Sama).<ref name="Peslyak"/> Later weapons were also designated RDS, but with different model numbers.

Mikhail Pervukhin served as the chairman of the commission in charge of the RDS-1 testing.

File:Joe one.jpg
The mushroom cloud from the "First lightning" test (1949).

RDS-1 sections
Intro  Description  Response in the West  See also   References    External links   

Description
PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Response in the West
<<>>