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Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin's Bomb Maker


Soviet Test

Semipalatinsk test siteOn August 29th, 1949, only seven years after he had written to Stalin warning him about the atomic bomb, Flerov was inside a tower setting up monitoring devices around the Soviets' first bomb.

Kurchatov and Beria watched from a bunker several kilometers away. When the site was cleared and everything was ready, Kurchatov ordered his team to begin the countdown. After several minutes, the automatic system detonated the bomb.

They watched in awe as the bomb exploded, but cheered after the shock wave passed their bunker.

"It worked! It worked!" Kurchatov yelled.


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