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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RDS-6t (“Pipe”)

Since June 1946, theoretical studies of the possibility of using nuclear energy of light elements began to be carried out in Moscow at the Institute of Chemical Physics by a group of S.P. Dyakova and A.S. Kompaniets under the leadership of Ya.B. Zeldovich. In the fall of 1948 A.D. Sakharov, independently of E. Teller, came up with the idea of a heterogeneous scheme with alternating layers of deuterium and U-238, i.e. to a scheme similar to the “alarm clock” scheme. The principle of ionization compression of thermonuclear fuel underlying it is called “saccharization” (“first idea”). At the end of 1948 V.L. Ginzburg proposed the use of Li6D deuteride (the “second idea”) as a thermonuclear fuel.

At the direction of B.L. Vannikov on May 8, 1949, Yu.B. Khariton prepared a conclusion on the proposal of I.E. Tamm, noting that the main idea of the proposal of A.D. Sakharov is “extremely witty and physically visual”, supported the work on “puff”.

Since that time, work on the hydrogen bomb in the USSR actually passed in two different directions: a group led by Ya.B. Zeldovich, still considered the possibility of nuclear detonation in deuterium, group I.E. Tamm began to study systems with layers of uranium and thermonuclear fuel. The Super type hydrogen bomb received the RDS-6t index, and the layered configuration hydrogen bomb received the RDS-6s index. On February 26, 1950, the USSR Council of Ministers adopted Decree No. 827-808 "On the work on the creation of RDS-6," which obliged the First Main Directorate, Laboratory No. 2 of the USSR Academy of Sciences and KB-11 to carry out theoretical, experimental, and design work on the creation of the product RDS-6s (“Puff”) and RDS-6t (“Pipe”). First of all, the RDS-6s product with a TNT equivalent of 1 million tons and with a weight of up to 5 tons was to be created.

Jacob Zeldovich’s group at the Institute of Chemical Physics (IHP), and then scientists from Laboratory No. 3 and Laboratory “B”, performed calculations of the WB RDS-6T in the form of a thin-walled cylinder with a diameter of 50 centimeters and a length of at least five meters, filled with liquid deuterium in the amount of 140 kilograms. According to calculations, the explosion of this mass of deuterium is equivalent to one to two million tons of TNT. To initiate an explosion, an atomic bomb is used in the cannon version. Between the charge of uranium-235 and deuterium, there is an additional detonator from a mixture of deuterium with tritium, which reacts faster and at a lower temperature compared to pure deuterium. The entire system is thermally insulated so that liquid deuterium does not evaporate during transport. This description was presented by Yakov Zeldovich in the note “Hydrogen deuterium bomb” in February 1950.

Due to the negative results of many years of theoretical calculations, work on the WB RDS-6T was discontinued by decision of the leadership of the MSM of the USSR in 1954.

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Page last modified: 06-08-2019 18:41:17 ZULU