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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Vasily Vasilievich Stekelnikov

Vasily Vasilievich Stekelnikov was the General Designer, Director of the Hydropress Gidropress [English = Hydropress] of the Ministry of Medium Mechanical Engineering of the USSR, Podolsk, Moscow Region, which he managed for 30 years. Under his leadership, the Hydropress Design Bureau becomes a major design organization with its experimental research base, which carried out a complex of design, calculation and theoretical, materials-research and experimental work on the creation of reactor sfacilities for nuclear power plants with water-water power reactors (VVER), as well as reactors of special purpose. As the general designer of VVER's power plants, V.V.Stekelnikov made a great personal contribution to the development of nuclear power in the country and abroad.

Deep knowledge and wide experience gained Vasily Vasilievich credibility among many experts in the field of nuclear energy, and a democratic approach to management and an attentive attitude to other people's problems - the respect and trust of subordinates. Energetic, proactive, forever young: “He never had fatigue, either from the road, or from the often protracted meetings and polemics on official matters. He did not wait for proposals on resolving emerging issues from those participating in the meetings, he himself proposed solutions, set them out in writing and reasonably defended them, ”recalls Alexander Zubchenko, deputy director general of OKB GIDROPRESS for scientific work.

Vasily Vasilievich Stekolnikov rarely spoke of himself, devoting almost all his time to working matters. Not much is known about his life outside the Experimental Design Bureau "HYDROPRESS". Born on December 23, 1926, in the village of Swatkovo in the District of Leningrad, now the Luzh district of Leningrad region, Tver). In a rare interview, Vasily Vasilievich later recalled "I was always attracted to diesel locomotives, steam locomotives. I went to the institute for the thermal faculty for another reason: the scholarship was higher there, and by that time I was left alone - my mother and father had died. So by my education I’m a boiler man." In 1952 he graduated from the Moscow Energy Institute (MEI) with a specialty in "boiler equipment" and the distribution sent him to work in Podolsk at the Central Design Bureau of Petroleum Equipment (TsKBN), where he worked as a designer, and later a deputy head of the Central.

On January 28, 1946, Stalin signed the USSR SNC Resolution No. 229-100 ss/op "On the design and preparation of the equipment of the Mining and Refining Plant." about the creation of the first industrial reactor in the Urals. It was also said that they had a machine-building plant at Podolsk. Ordzhonikidze should organize a "Special Design Bureau for hydro-press equipment" (short for TsKB "Hydropress" NCTM).

In 1954, Vasily Vasilievich was transferred to the Hydropress Special Design Bureau, which specializes in the development of nuclear power and special plant systems for the nuclear industry. In 1955 he developed a sketch project of the first VVER reactor in the country. He proved a capable designer and in early 1958 was appointed head of the design bureau for the development of reactor plants VVER. V.V.Stekulnikov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR for the creation of the VVER-440 reactor plant.

In 1962, Stekelnikov was appointed Chief Designer of Hydropress. The cadence of his career is a bit of a puzzle. He graduated from the Moscow Energy Institute in 1952, and ten years later was Chief Designer. It may be noted that in the United States, Herbert York earned his doctorate from Berkeley in 1949, and three years later became the first director of the recently created Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Ernest O. Lawrence asked his young protege if he would run the new venture. But such rapid promotion is exceptional, and the identity of the patron of Vasily Vasilievich remains obscure. There is no mention of Stekelnikov's membership in the Party, or of any Party activity.

During the period of the Design Bureau's leadership and his personal creative involvement, the first reactor projects of various purposes were developed. installation of BM-40A with liquid-metal heat carrier lead-vismuth. The use of lead-bismuth alloy as a coolant in the AMPU for APLs has allowed to reduce the specific weights and dimensions of installations, to ensure high tactical and technical properties of APLs. The progressive principle of block delivery of equipment implemented in the BM-40A project ensured the manufacture of a complete steam-generating unit at the machine-building plant and reduced the time of installation of the AMPSU at the manufacturer's plant.

A huge set of research and development work has been carried out, unique technologies have been developed. characteristics and are listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

By decree of the Presidency of the Supreme Council of the USSR ("closed") of December 16, 1981 Stekelnikov was assigned the title of Hero of Socialist Labor with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Golden "Serp and Hammer" medals.

Under his leadership, Hydropress established a powerful experimental research base with unique settings to justify the technical solutions embedded in the projects being developed and the pilot production, allowing to produce experimental plants and separate equipment for delivery to nuclear power plants.

Along with the production and technical achievements, during the leadership of V.V. Stekolnikov, the problems of social housing were solved in large volumes: 73,000 sq m of housing, two modern children's plants, pioneering camp (recreation base).

At a time of great upheaval, from 1992 to 1996, V.V. Stekelnikov was the chief consultant of the Hydropress Design Bureau .

In a critical situation, Stekolnikov always took responsibility. Veteran Alexander Vasilievich Shpakov recalls: when they discovered the problem of vibration strength of the tube bundle of a steam generator, Efim Slavsky, Minister of Medium Engineering, at the meeting asked Stekolnikov who made a mistake. He replied: “I am the chief designer, it’s my fault,” and he immediately suggested solutions.

Huge responsibility did not deprive him of a sense of humor and an easy attitude to life. In the midst of heated working discussions, he was able to defuse the situation and screw on a funny story in time. “I remembered simple life lessons,” says Ivan Vasilchenko, the chief expert of the GIDROPRESS Design Bureau. - Many grievances arise from the seeming injustice in promotions or job growth. Vasily Vasilyevich said that it is impossible to achieve complete harmony here, so often you need to consider these cases, as if the neighbor won the sport lottery, but you didn’t.”

He lived in Podolsk, and died February 11, 1997.

The contribution of the Hydropress team and its chief designer to the development of the city of Podolsk was invaluable. The Administration of the city of Podolsk praised V.V. Stekolnikov's contribution to the development and improvement of the city, giving him the title of "Honorary Citizen of podolska", one of the streets of the city named with his name. He was awarded 2 Orders of Lenin (29.07.1966, 16.12.1981), The Red Banner of Labour (26.04.1971), "Sign of Honour," medals, order of the CsCR".

The great experience and deep knowledge of V. V. Stekolnikov earned him the deserved authority and respect among the widest layers of specialists in the field of nuclear energy both at home and abroad. . “He was one of those specialists who created the foundations of the security and energy independence of our country. Gidropress today is known all over the world largely due to the merits and talents of the designer, inventor and leader V.V. Stekolnikov. He skillfully managed the team, developed production - Podolsk can be proud of this man! ”, - said the Chairman of the Board of Directors of enterprises of the city of Podolsk Yu.G. Dragunov.

The director and general designer of OKB Gidropress V.V. spoke about the traditions left to posterity. Dzhangobegov: “The works of Vasily Vasilyevich had a strong influence on many fates. He was able to lay down traditions and foundations that allow the company to carry out work today that strengthens the authority of Russia and Podolsk. ”

In a rare interview, Vasily Vasilievich later recalled "I had never told about this before, to anyone - not even my wife, but I tell you so that you understand how hard the star of the Hero gets. Maybe someone got stars for nothing, and we, designers and scientists, each cost many years of sweat, heart attacks, pain, sleepless nights and all that we deprived ourselves in life to do what the country, people need."

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Page last modified: 10-08-2019 19:09:09 ZULU