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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Evgeny Pavlovich Velikhov

Evgeny Pavlovich Velikhov is a national figure - a scientist, politician, organizer. He fought for nuclear disarmament, promoted the ITER international fusion reactor project at presidential level, helped liquidate the Chernobyl accident, prepared a school computerization program, sat in the USSR Supreme Soviet, saved the Academy of Sciences from disintegration during the collapse of the Union. The first thermonuclear tokamak was built at the Kurchatov Institute, under the guidance of Academician Evgeny Pavlovich Velikhov. Velikhov was awarded the highest academic title at the age of 39, becoming the youngest Russian academician at that time.

Evgeny Pavlovich was born on February 2, 1935 in Moscow. Father - Velikhov Pavel Pavlovich (1905-1952). Mother - Velikhova (Evreinova) Natalia Vsevolodovna (1906–1940). Wife - Velikhova (Arsenyev) Natalia Alekseevna (born in 1939). Sons: Velikhov Vasily Evgenievich (born in 1960), an employee of the RRC Kurchatov Institute, is engaged in information technology; Velikhov Pavel Evgenievich (born in 1976), graduated from the University of California, programmer. Daughter - Velikhova Natalia Evgenievna (born in 1973), graduated from the Gnesins Music School, piano class, Law Academy. Grandchildren: Elizabeth, Catherine, Amelia and Eugene.

In 1958 Evgeny Velikhov graduated from Moscow State University, the Department of Physics, where he specialized in theoretical physics. Velikhov's thesis, published in 1959, “Stability of rotation of a fluid in a magnetic field,” turned out to be the most quoted for his entire scientific career: it describes the universal principles that determine the behavior of all objects in the Universe. “Does the whole universe rotate? A moot point. But as soon as the substance starts to rotate, it immediately generates a magnetic field. This, in general, is the principle of astrophysics. Prior to that, nobody paid attention to my work, and after 30 years they tried to rediscover it ... ”. In 1968 he obtained the rank of Professor of atomic physics, plasma physics and controlled thermonuclear fusion and microelectronics. Academician of USSR Academy of Sciences (1974) – Russian Academy of Sciences (1992).

He started working in the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (nowadays the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”) in 1961 as a junior research fellow. With Alexander Alekseevich Vedenov and Roald Zinnurovich Sagdeev, Velikhov then created a theory of plasma. He recalls: “In 1961, the three of us prepared a report for the first international conference on plasma physics and controlled thermonuclear fusion. I was sent to Salzburg to voice it ... It was a strong impression from bourgeois Austria, from foreign colleagues-physicists ... ”

The Magnetic Laboratory organized by Academician Anatoly Petrovich Aleksandrov, organized in 1956, was located in Pakhra (the future Troitsk), which in 1961 was incorporated into the Atomic Energy Institute as a sector, then a department, and since 1971 a branch. In 1991, the branch was renamed the SSC RF Troitsky Institute for Innovation and Thermonuclear Research. Velikhova went there to work. In 1971 he was appointed as Deputy Director of the Kurchatov Institute.

Since 1966, he was a professor at the physics department of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, he also leads the creation of powerful CO2 lasers for metalworking and other applications. At this time, Academicians AM Prokhorov and B.V. Bunkin began to develop "strategic" lasers, for the power supply of which a powerful source of energy was needed. E.P. Velikhov addresses the director of the Chemical-Technological Research Institute (NIHTI) B.P. Zhukov (later Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences) with the proposal to create powerful MHD generators based on powder solid fuels. Minister S.A. Zverev for these works are allocated two KB - in Zagorsk and Dzerzhinsk. Under the leadership of E.P. Velikhov developed a series of powder MHD generators with ever-increasing power.

The work went to completion and at this time there was a revolution in the development of lasers. From solid-state lasers B.V. Bunkin resolutely turned towards carbon dioxide lasers (CO2 lasers). By the mid-1970s, E.P. Velikhov became the leader of the “front-line” areas of practical applications of physics: - powerful MHD generators for pumping high-power lasers - strategic (for example, a unique CO2 laser with a power of more than 1 MW).

In collaboration with academicians B.V. Bunkin and A.M.Prokhorov, Evgeny Pavlovich continued to be engaged in the whole work on laser weapons in the Kurchatov Center and created an interdepartmental Center in Troitsk, called TRINITI. There were created samples of laser technology, ahead of American development. Work was also being done on MHD generators for lasers and for geophysics.

In 1970-1978, Velikhov was a member of the Komsomol Central Committee, from 1977 - Chairman of the Council of Young Scientists and Specialists of the Komsomol Central Committee. He joined the CPSU in 1971.

Acad. Velikhov is a major scientist in the field of plasma physics and controlled thermonuclear fusion. Since 1973 he was scientific head of studies on controlled thermonuclear fusion in the USSR. In the 1970s, the Soviet Union lagged behind the leading Western countries in the field of fusion became apparent. It was then that Velikhov and his foreign colleagues came up with the idea to build an international shared reactor. This is how the ITER project was born (originally, the name was formed as an abbreviation of the English International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, but at the present time it is not officially considered an acronym, but is associated with the Latin word iter - path).

The idea of creating the international experimental thermonuclear reactor ITER belonged to Academician Velikhov. From 1992 to 2001 he chaired the Board of ITER International Program; since 2006 was a member from Russia of the ITER International Council; from 2010 to 2012 was the Chairman of the ITER International Council.

From 1971 to 1978 he headed the IAE branch in Troitsk. In 1972, he founded and headed the department of plasma energy at the Faculty of Aerophysics and Space Research of MIPT. In 1976, he himself founded the new faculty of problems of physics and energy in MIPT (where he transferred this department). He was dean of the faculty, and since 1986 - supervisor.

In 1974 he was elected an academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1975, he headed the development program for controlled thermonuclear reactors, and in 1977, he created and headed the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Division of the Academy of Sciences. In 1980 he was Chairman of the Program Committee "Physics, Chemistry and Surface Mechanics" at the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

From 1980 to 1985, Velikhov was a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. From 1984 to 1989, Velikhov was a deputy of the Council of Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Soviet from the RSFSR, chairman of the Commission on Energy of the Council of Nationalities;

In Russia, they decided to return to the development of combat lasers, which began in 1963. The military leadership of the USSR showed great interest in developments related to laser weapons. It was planned to be placed on space platforms, stations and aircraft. At one time, the United States planned to place interceptor satellites in orbit capable of destroying Soviet ballistic intercontinental missiles. This gave impetus to the active development of laser weapons in the USSR. In 1973, the first tests of the Terra-3 laser were carried out, they were held in Kazakhstan and in the Crimea. The laser was designed for vacuum conditions. Only to launch the installation into space was problematic, and there was not enough money to continue research in the late 1980s. In 1983, USSR Defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov ordered to test the Balkhash “locator” at minimum power on the American space shuttle “Challenger”.

When competing with Americans in the creation of laser weapons, FIAE made a significant contribution to parity of Russia and the United States in this field of armaments and stopped the space laser wars. More than 200 members of the Russian Academy of Sciences were elected according to the “list of the creators of laser weapons”. Twelve State Prizes and five Lenin Prizes were issued on the “tuff” theme.

Vladimir Dudochkin, head of administration at Troitsk, recalled February 2015 "I was struck by Yevgeny Pavlovich’s deeply substantiated personal position on the issue of the prospects for the creation of real laser weapons. I will cite his words from memory: “We do not make weapons, but we sly and cheaply imitate this process. Direct competition (nostril in the nostril) is doomed to our loss due to various financial opportunities. Therefore, our asymmetric response to the Americans is that we demonstrate to the enemy the fundamental scientific and technical possibility of its creation in our country. It seems to be making weapons, but in reality we only imitate this process.”"

Yevgeny Pavlovich later said "When I began to deal with the issue of laser weapons, antimissile defense, Academician Khariton brought Sakharov several times. But these were the last moments, when Sakharov was at the end - he was already expelled from Arzamas.... he had some kind of illusion that he could greatly influence events.... he chose the path of struggle with the System, right? And I chose the road - to work, despite this System."

The criticism about Velikhov’s apparent lack of practical implementations of his scientific achievements sounds loudest. It is not true. About the introduction of MHD generators, those who are supposed to know perfectly well. This is a great success in the field of defense special applications. According to some data, this is a unique implementation of reliable global underwater “radio communication” with nuclear submarines.

During the Cold War with the United States, Soviet laser physicists (as well as the Americans) worked to create the most powerful laser weapons, including those installed on an airplane. Combining the previously created powerful MHD generators with the developed unique inductive drive for 1 GJ of energy and with a high-speed explosive switch solved the problem of pumping such a laser. For the creation of high-power gas-discharge lasers E.P.Velikhov in 1984 awarded the Lenin Prize.

Pope John Paul II (Wojtyla) began, through the Vatican Academy of Sciences, to discuss the consequences - first medical ones - of a nuclear conflict. Pope invited a number of scientists from around the world to cooperate in 1981. Through the Vatican Academy, he collaborated with Professor R. Garvin, with whom he prepared for A. A. Gromyko and Yu.V. Andropov a Proposal of the Soviet Union on the non-output of weapons into space. At the same time, the idea of a moratorium was developed. However, in March 1983, when all these documents had already been prepared, R. Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

From 1983 to 1988 he was Chairman of the Committee of Soviet Scientists for the Defense of Peace, against Nuclear War. Aware of defense issues at the Academy of Sciences, he was engaged in developing strategic stability, a concept and “asymmetric response” program for Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Velikhov and his colleagues developed and substantiated a set of measures on the relatively less costly means of the Soviet response to ensure a general military-strategic balance of the USSR-USA.

He later recalled "Humanity has a short memory, somehow they quickly forgot about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the 1980s, it was necessary to explain to the leaders of the states that nuclear war could not be won, that the ideas of anti-missile defense were fake, that it was necessary to disarm until everything was blown up."

In 1986, Velikhov took part in the aftermath of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. He later recalled "On April 30, I probably received a letter from my friend, with whom I have been working for a long time, a wonderful scientist, Frank von Hippel, an American physicist from Princeton, with whom we did all these disarmament tasks, he sent me a telegram saying: “Listen, you definitely need to ensure that all children receive iodine pills - because the first blow will be on the thyroid gland”. Well, this chain is famous: grass - a cow - a child - a thyroid gland."

"I remember when I flew with a very nice general who was the head of the engineering troops of the Soviet army, we all looked at it, and after that we discussed it for a very long time. And, in the end, I say to him: “Well, how is it, and how did you then plan, in general, to fight in atomic war in that case, if you can’t understand such a simple thing.... And he: “So, in fact, I think, we planned to go around such places!” .."

In 1986–1989 he was a member candidate, in 1989–1990 he was a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU. In 1989, Velikhov was elected people's deputy of the USSR from the CPSU and became a member of the USSR Supreme Soviet. Until March 1991, he chaired the subcommittee on the affairs of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces Committee on Defense and State Security. At the I and II congresses of People's Deputies of the USSR was a member of the scientific, industrial and academic deputy groups. From September to December 1991, Velikhov was a member of the Political Consultative Council under the President of the USSR, the head of the Foreign Economic Committee of the Scientific and Industrial Union of the USSR.

In 1988 he became the Director of the Kurchatov Institute. In the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the question of the liquidation of the USSR Academy of Sciences arose. For the salvation of the Academy of Sciences and the Kurchatov Institute, Velikhov had to contact Yeltsin directly. Since 1992 to 2015 Academician Velikhov was the President of the NRC «Kurchatov Institute». Now he is the Honorary President of the NRC «Kurchatov Institute».

He is the scientific leader in the implementation of the Russian President’s innovative nuclear power development initiative put forward at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000; since 2001 he leads Russia’s research in support of the IAEA INPRO International Project in the field of innovative nuclear power, following the Initiative of the President of Russia.

Acad. Velikhov is the scientific leader in the development of unique inductive accumulators of energy, specifically TIN-900 - the largest energy complex in the world for feeding pulse thermonuclear and simulation units. He headed the program of development and introduction of gas and technology lasers. He proposed and experimentally implemented a new type of high-power pulse magnetic-hydrodynamic generator, which has found its application in the deep electromagnetic sounding of the earth-crust.

He initiated an establishment and became the Leader of Information and Computer Technology Section in the USSR Academy of Sciences. Under his leadership the unique production of super grand integral circuits and microprocessors was launched and the participation of Russia in the Global Information Project GLORIAD (Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development) has been established.

Acad. Velikhov set up and headed the Board of the Directors (1992–2001) of the Rosshelf joint stock company founded by Gazprom, Kurchatov Institute and several atomic shipbuilding companies to explore perspective oil and gas fields on the shelf of Russian Arctic seas.

From 1978 to 1996 Acad. Velikhov was Vice president of the USSR (Russian) Academy of Sciences (RAS). Lagter he was the Academician-Secretary of the Department of Nano and Info Technologies of RAS, a member of the Presidential Council for Science and Education. He was the co-Chairman of the Joint Commission on strategic questions of RAS and the USA National Academy of Sciences (1981–1988).

From 2005 to 2014 Acad. Velikhov was the Secretary of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation; now he is the Honorary Secretary of Public Chamber. In 2014–2015 he was the President of International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions; now – the Member of AICESIS’ Presidium.

He launched and became the chairman of the international foundation “For Survival and Progress of the Mankind” (1987). In 1991 he founded the public organization “Junior Achievements” in Russia. Today he is the President of the Director’s Council of “Junior Achievement” in Russia and a member of Director’s Council of this international organization.

In 1973–1988 Acad. Velikhov was holding a Chair of Nuclear Physics, Plasma Physics and Microelectronics at the Faculty of Physics of Moscow State University. He has launched the Faculty of Problems of Physics and Energy at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, where nowadays he fulfils the duties of research advisor.

He is a Honorary member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, Honorary member of the Ioffe Institute in Saint Petersburg; Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana), at William Howard Taft University (USA) and at the University of London.

In 2001-2015 he was the scientific leader in the implementation of the Russian President’s innovative nuclear power development initiative, put forward at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, and Russia’s researches in support of the IAEA INPRO International Project in the field of innovative nuclear power, followed the Initiative of the Russia’s President.

He is the author of over 200 scientific publications and a number of inventions and discoveries.

Awards: Hero of Socialist Labor (1985), winner of the Lenin Prize (1984), the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1997, 2003), the American Physical Society Szilard's Prize, the Science and World Prize of the World Federation of the Scientists (1986), Karpinsky Prize (1986); laureate of the Global Energy Prize (2006). He was awarded three Orders of Lenin (1971, 1981, 1985), Order of Courage (1997), Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1975), Order of Friendship (2012). Evgeny Velikhov is a full Cavalier of the Order for Services to the Fatherland.

Evgeny Pavlovich possessed and has a wonderful sense of humor - a unique personal culture of irony and jokes. Evgeny Pavlovich was a very sociable, versatile person, he inspired everyone around him. He had a large circle of friends who were interested in art, painting, and poetry. He always gathered around interesting people.

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