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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China - Climax (1963-1965)

After the efforts of tens of thousands of scientists and engineering technicians, the development of the atomic bomb in China finally advanced to the decisive stage. At the end of 1962, the CPC Central Committee established a 15-member special committee with Zhou Enlai as its director, seven vice premiers and seven ministerial-level cadres. At the same time, the leaders of nine such institutes as Li Jue, Wu Jiling, Zhu Guangya, Wang Ganchang, Peng Huanwu and Guo Yonghuai led a large number of scientific and technological personnel in Beijing to the Northwest Nuclear Weaponry Development Base in Qinghai for the assembly and experiment of atomic bombs. Here an average of more than 3,200 meters above sea level, the annual average temperature of -0.4 C, cold hypoxia, natural conditions are very poor. Wang Ganchang et al suffered from high blood pressure and other illnesses. They had difficulty breathing in that environment and could not sleep well, but they still worked hard day and night with everyone. In order to create China's atomic bomb, everyone was desperate!

The high-voltage electric detonators and high explosives were taken by the Ministry of Weaponry and Lanzhou Chemical Physics. The manufacturing and processing of a core component of the atomic bomb was undertaken by a factory of the Ministry of Aviation. And the calculation of the calculated method of study, the physical involved in the theoretical design; Changchun, Xi'an Institute of Optics and Mechanics in charge of high-speed cameras; Meteorological Bureau and atmospheric physics to provide meteorological support; Ministry of Electric Power, Ministry of Railways Transport, Ministry of Commerce living supplies Ministry of Health radiology and environmental monitoring. The safety and secrecy of all relevant units and individuals are the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Security.

At the same time, the atomic bomb experiment base in Lop Nur region of Xinjiang was also under intense construction. Zhang Yunjue, commander of the China Nuclear Test Base, was originally the Chief of Staff of the Third Corps of the World Volunteers Army in the battle of Shangganling (commander Chen Geng). The core material of the atomic bomb, uranium 235, was developed in early 1964. The Defense Industry Office of the State Council convened a meeting of ministers of defense ministries of industry under the chairmanship of General Deputy Director General Zhao Erlu. Liu Jie, minister of nuclear industry, said happily at the meeting : "Report good news to everyone that the nuclear material uranium 235 has been developed."

At the end of 1962, the General Staff Headquarters set up a nuclear test institute here, appointed Zhang Chao as director and Cheng Kaijia as deputy director. The main task of the nuclear test institute was to ensure the success of the atomic bomb test and to obtain the required data. Cheng Kai proposed ground blast more appropriate. According to his suggestion, in September 1964, a 102-meter-high tower erected in the depths of Lop Nur.

This iron tower was produced by Beijing Metal Structure Factory and is 102 meters high. The iron tower was erected in the Great Gobi because of the windy and sandy area and the large temperature difference between morning and night. It was very difficult for technicians to work on the tower. In addition to the harsh natural conditions, it was the natural swing of the tower. Under such difficult working conditions, it is necessary to insert a large number of detonators with great danger. How difficult and psychological pressure can be imagined.

Peng Huanwu, the deputy dean of the Nuclear Weapons Research Institute and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a famous theoretical physicist today, emphasized this point in particular. Whether the atomic bomb can be successfully exploded depends on the final insertion of the detonator. This is because whether the detonator can be inserted into the correct position as required by the regulations directly affects whether the atomic bomb can be detonated synchronously, otherwise the atomic bomb explosion test will fail.

In order to test the nature, equivalence and effect of this nuclear explosion, more than 90 effect engineering projects and more than 3,000 test instruments were deployed within a radius of 60 km around the tower. These included the aircraft squadron, tank group, steel and concrete works, oil depots, Food supply point and so on. Because the effects to be measured involve almost all kinds of physical effects, as well as a few biological and chemical effects, none of which are readily available, it was a very heavy task to measure these effects and develop the appropriate instrumentation. Wang Ganchang's graduate student and assistant Tang Xiaowei were responsible for this task. It was precisely because of his excellent work that none the key figures of the first nuclear explosion had been missed.

In 1964, China's first atomic bomb was assembled in a confidential factory in Jiuquan, Gansu. A train, chauffeured by China's finest driver, was responsible for transporting the bomb to the experimental base. In order to ensure foolproof, more than 100 tons of high-quality coal used in trains had been specially screened to prevent explosives such as detonators that may be mixed. All trains passed along the route would be given way for the special train. Even the high-voltage transmission lines across the railway lines would be powered off when the train passed, so as to prevent electric spark explosion caused by electromagnetic induction.

On October 14, 1964, the First Nuclear Test Committee of China, led by Zhang Aiping, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Liu Xiyao, deputy director of the Second Machinery Department, announced the order of the Central Committee: After confirmation by the Central Special Commission, Zero at 15:00 on October 16, 1964 (Beijing time). At 0700 hours that night, the assembled atomic bomb was taken to the top of the 102-meter tower and installed.

At half past six on October 16, all unnecessary personnel were evacuated to dozens of miles away from the tower. The first-line command post was under the command of Zhang Zhenhuan, deputy secretary-general of the National Defense Science and Technology Commission. Commander Zhang Yunjue and Li Jue, the commander of the base, take the jeep to the tower and take the lift to the top. The small ball of the atomic bomb, Source) plug on. At 10 o'clock, Zhang Yun Jue and Li Jue signed the rules of procedure. Commander Zhang Aiping called for the last time to Beijing and reported to Premier Zhou Enlai: "The final installation has ended, please give directions." Premier Zhou said calmly: "The Central Government approves the zero time at 15:00, and I wish you success." 14:59 Sub-40 seconds, the master station operator presses the start button, 10 seconds after the entire system into the state of self-control, counter starts remembered. When it turned from 10 to 0, according to the prior design, the atomic bomb carried out the entire process of detonation, compression, supercritical, neutron, and explosion. Suddenly, there was a golden eruption, and a mushroom cloud soared. China's first atomic bomb test burst with success.

General Zhang Aiping, a well-versed general in the command post, had never been so excited. He said to the microphone: "Prime Minister, we succeeded! The atomic bomb was a success." Zhou Enlai's voice is also somewhat strange, very excited, but he is prime minister, after all, with a very calm tone asked: "At this time, what is the power of the bomb"? According to the data recorded by the pressure gauge, explosion of the equivalent is about tens of thousands of tons of explosives TNT explosions, ordinary explosions can not have such a power. A few hours later, the earliest report of the anti-chemical personnel entering the heart of the explosion (ie the tower) proved the conclusion of Cheng Kai-kai. The anti-chemical warfare soldiers were surprised to find that the iron tower with a height of 100 meters and welded with seamless steel tubes weighing 80 tons actually turned into a small "noodle" in the atomic explosion. The surrounding gravel pebbles were melting After re-solidified into a purple glass beads.

After the Soviet Union broke the agreement in June 1959, the four nuclear powers of the United States, Britain, France and the USSR imposed a strict blockade on China in atomic science and technology. China had no choice but to grope for the development of an atomic bomb. After the success of the atomic bomb in China, Western and western scientists suddenly realized that China had a very distinguished group of atomic scientists, which greatly changed the traditional concepts in their minds - China's science and technology are far behind.

Yang Zhenning said in an article dedicated to his best friend Deng Jiaxian: After the success of the atomic bomb test in China in 1964, there was rumor that a US female graduate student named Han Chun (formerly Joan Hinton) was involved in the atomic bomb project in China, she was involved in the development of the U.S. atomic bomb at the Los Alamos Laboratory in the early 1940s. Hinton was a classmate of the famous Chinese-American physicist Franklin Yang, and was one of the few women to take part in the wartime Manhattan project to build the world's first atomic bomb. In 1948, Joan followed her husband-to-be, New England farmer Sid Engst, to China where they joined the Communist cause. In 1949 Joan and Sid were married in a cave in Yan'an. For 60 years Joan and Sid spent every waking moment on cattle breeding and pushing forward the mechanization of dairy farming.

In August 1971, Yang Zhenning returned to visit his motherland after 22 years. In Beijing, he met Deng Jiaxian and asked him whether there was a U.S. graduate student named Han Chun who had participated in the Chinese atomic bomb project. Deng Jia first replied that he went to check again to tell Yang Zhenning. Afterwards, Deng immediately reported to Zhou Enlai and the prime minister said to him: "You can tell Mr. Yang Zhenning that all the atomic bombs in China were developed by the Chinese themselves."

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Page last modified: 18-10-2021 15:46:53 ZULU