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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


China - New Height (1965-1967)

The global impact of the success of the atomic bomb test explosion had not yet dissipated, and the Chinese were moving to a new height. On June 17, 1967, China successfully conducted its first hydrogen bomb experiment after two years and eight months from the first atomic bomb test. The leap from the atomic bomb to the hydrogen bomb is not a simple matter. It took seven years for the United States, four years for the Soviet Union, nearly five years for Britain, eight years for France, and only two years and eight months for China. This marked the highest level of atomic energy scientists in China.

As early as the development of the atomic bomb was under intense work, the theoretical study of the hydrogen bomb had begun. While vigorously developing atomic bombs, Chinese scientists began to explore the principle of hydrogen bomb from the end of 1960. At the time, Liu Jie, Minister of the Second Machinery Department and Vice Minister Qian Sanqiang handed over the task of studying the hydrogen bomb to Huang Zuqian, Yu Min, He Zuoxiao and others who worked at the Institute of Atomic Energy.

Everything started from scratch. At that time the equipment is too simple, in addition to some tables and chairs, only a few calculations and a blackboard. After the success of the first atomic bomb explosion, the team engaged in the preliminary exploration of hydrogen bomb theory turned into the theoretical department of the Academia Sinica and merged with the scientific and technological personnel there to form a powerful scientific research fist. Theoretical Research Building, every night, brilliant lights. In order to ponder a problem, people often come all night long; reports by scientists such as Peng Huanwu, Deng Jiaxian, Zhou Guangzhao, Huang Zuqia, Yu Min and others one by one are often crowded with lecture hall.

Yu Min is a first-rate theoretical physicist in China and even in the world. He never studied abroad and people affectionately call him a "Number One Domestic Expert." In the peak period of the nuclear theory research, he resolutely obeyed the needs of the country and started to engage in the exploration and study of hydrogen bomb theory.

Yu Min knew the significance of this work. He said: "As a young nuclear power, China can not fail to have its own nuclear force and I am willing to give my own contribution to the cause of our country and nation." This simple and sincere patriotism , Has always been his spiritual power. In order to develop China's own hydrogen bomb as soon as possible, Yu Min sleepless nights, studying day and night. Soon, he entered the "role", showing outstanding talent.

In the early 1960s, at the Institute of Atomic Energy, a "proton theory group" headed by Huangzu Chiah, a leading disciple of Peng Huanwu, was formed to undertake the pre-research work on the hydrogen bomb. Soon, Yu Min, who has done nuclear theoretical research, came along with them. After graduating from college in the early 1950s, Yu Min engaged in theoretical studies of nuclear physics and came to prominence in just a few years. Qian Sanqiang commented that he "filled the gap in the work of atomic theory in our country." Just as Minmin continued to make achievements in the study of nuclear physics, the leader named him to engage in the study of nuclear weapons. He did nothing to say that he plunged into this isolated and mysterious world for more than 30 years.

Under the arrangement of the Ninth Institute, Yu Min led a team in August 1965 to the Huadong Computing Center in Shanghai, and started using the theoretical design of hydrogen bombs from a large computer there. After three months of hard work, they came up with a solid hydrogen bomb design. After all the arguments had been passed, the Central Special Commission approved the hydrogen bomb design plan in late 1965. At the just moment when the research and development of hydrogen bombs entered the fray, the "Cultural Revolution" began in June 1966. The catastrophe brought a disaster to China's nuclear weapons research and development work. Huang Zuqia recalled afterwards: "... these people must conduct research while suffering from the poster posters and criticisms of the mass organizations, and while most of the people are still sensible and do not overwhelm us as 'business cadres', they always have to pay A lot of time, a lot of attention distracted. "In 1969, the Cultural Revolution caused more and more confusion, nuclear weapons research institute also stationed a propaganda team and the military propaganda team, and the days of intellectuals were getting worse. However, I just finished leading a type of hydrogen bomb design. After submitting the design proposal to the production department, I was sent to a '57 cadre school' in Cai County, Henan Province to go to 'study'. In fact, I went to work to reform." The outstanding qualities that Chinese intellectuals to take responsibility for the rise and fall of the world were fully reflected in those hydrogen bomb developers.

China made remarkable progress in the 1960s in developing nuclear weapons. In a thirty-two-month period, China successfully exploded its first atomic bomb (October 16, 1964), launched its first nuclear missile (October 25, 1966), and detonated its first hydrogen bomb (June 14, 1967.

The first Chinese nuclear test was conducted at Lop Nor on 16 October 1964 (CHIC 1). It was a tower shot involving a fission device with a yield of 25 kilotons. Uranium 235 was used as the nuclear fuel, which indicates Beijing's choice of the path of creating high-yield nuclear weapons right away. Of the ten test shots that followed by 29 September 1969, six are believed to have been related to thermonuclear development. The others had as their goals the adaptation of CHIC 1 for bomber delivery and test of a missile warhead (CHIC 4). The third nuclear test was conducted on 9 September 1966 using a Tu-16 bomber. In addition to uranium 235, this nuclear device, with a yield around 100 KT, this time contained lithium 6, which attested to China's readiness to test a thermonuclear explosion. CHIC 6, an airdrop test on 17 June 1967, was the first full-yield, two-stage thermonuclear test.

Although the Cultural Revolution disrupted the strategic weapons program less than other scientific and educational sectors in China, there was a slowdown in succeeding years. The successes achieved in nuclear research and experimental design work permitted China to begin series production of nuclear (since 1968) and thermonuclear (since 1974) warheads.




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Page last modified: 04-02-2018 17:30:55 ZULU