had taken Kurchatov four years to build the bomb, almost the same amount
of time the Manhattan Project
took to build the American bomb. Certainly he had all the espionage materials,
but it was still a monumental task.
Kurchatov and his team already had ideas for improvements to the bomb -- ideas that were strictly Soviet and didn't rely on espionage from the West. However, Beria had prevented the scientists from adding some of the improvements to the first bomb, because he still thought western science was somehow better than Russian science. But they had proved themselves and immediately started to plan for the next bombs.
On top of everything else was the next step in nuclear weapons, a thermonuclear bomb. Instead of utilizing the energy of fission from uranium or plutonium, these bombs released the more powerful energy of hydrogen fusion. Theoretically, this bomb was much more destructive than the fission bomb. Instead of destroying small towns, these bombs could wipe out entire cities.
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