Uranus on the Angara

The creator of high-speed centrifuges for uranium enrichment Academician Joseph Friedlander, Photo: Vladimir Suvorov / "News»

If the wars we have put up, the nuclear war do not want anyone. Nuclear weapons on the planet, there are only seven states have. But dozens of countries on all continents seeking to acquire nuclear technology, and some are not averse to master the full nuclear cycle. The situation is complicated by the threat posed by terrorists, which in those days, when the atomic bomb was created, simply did not exist. In the world of proposed several initiatives on the issue of access to nuclear technology in strict security. Closest to the realization - the International Uranium Enrichment Center on the basis of previously closed Electrolysis Chemical Plant in Angarsk, where he had been a correspondent of "Izvestia».

For centuries, the songs Russian declaration of love to the Volga. In the 1960s, the lyrical focus has shifted towards the Siberian rivers, of which especially stood out of the hangar. Young Joseph Kobzon, who had yet to become a singer of all time, sang a song Alexandra Pakhmutova: "Floating Siberian girls / Towards dawn / the hangar, the Angara." Where the girls are swimming, it was not clear, and it does not matter. Romance valued in itself and does not affect gross realities. Decades later, with a high degree of confidence we can assume that the girls swam for the construction of the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Complex. In Siberia, the largest production plant. What's in Siberia! AECC potreblinl 4% of the electricity that is produced in the USSR. Legendary Bratsk hydroelectric plant was built to service the plant. On the AECC was not known virtually nothing - it enveloped in secrecy, in front of which the famous Angara mists like children's tears.

 - I worked for many years abroad, - said the director of the plant Alexander Belousov. - When offered to return to Angarsk, no doubt. Such enterprises in the world - on the fingers of one hand. And the prospects are fantastic.

Today it is no secret that in the 1950s, the Pentagon prepared a plan for the atomic bombing of 18 Soviet cities. This plan has been expanded to 30 cities, then a hundred. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were seen as a successful experiment. To ward off the threat, the country needed to create an adequate nuclear capability. Plant Angarsk - a key element long industrial chain in the production of nuclear weapons, where the enrichment of uranium to the necessary standard to use it as a fuel or warhead.

The failure of the CIA

In the classic Soviet film "Dead Season" there is a scene that always knocks the viewer tear. In an unknown bridge our scout exchanged for an American spy, and they pierce each other appraising look. This is not fiction - a real episode. Scout Rudolf Abel, who was arrested for atomic espionage, in West Berlin were exchanged for American pilot Powers, who in 1960 shot down over the Urals. The fact that the Powers flying over the Soviet Union, Khrushchev reported before the parade on May 1. That was shot down - right on Red Square. In the "News" under the caricature wrote: "From the high-altitude U-2 Yankees jumped almost».

In triumphant were reported where to send Podnebesny spy. Powers flew to the city Novoural'sk to photograph Soviet uranium enrichment plant. Angarsk remained as tempting bait. But all James Bond has not been able to find out what the production is placed in Novouralsk and Angarsk. Only in the early 1990s, when experts from the United States admitted to Russian enterprises, they first saw the unique centrifuges, which are only suspected and who unsuccessfully hunted for decades. In the American press wrote that it is the biggest failure in the history of the CIA and the organization to not knowingly transferred money, it is better to dissolve.

 - When there were space satellites - says academician Joseph Friedlander - we asked the agents in the United States to get pictures. See our factory and US experts conclude: "On the roof there is no cooling water pool - Russian came up with a new technology." But what kind of technology in the United States and will not know until we do not open.

Russia possesses 40% of the world's uranium enrichment capacity. In 2007, President Putin called Angarsk place where it will be established the International Uranium Enrichment Center. The idea of ​​winning: any country that is developing nuclear energy may become a shareholder or customer products without violating international non-proliferation requirements. All works are placed under the control of the IAEA. In ICUE entered Kazakhstan with its rich uranium reserves in the world, receiving 10% of the shares. Armenia is prepared, she also released 10%. On the approach of Ukraine. Preparing a decree of President Medvedev that ICUE may dispose of nuclear materials, and it will start delivery of fuel at the end of 2008.

Just in Angarsk an international seminar on security assurances of nuclear materials. Came a few dozen experts - from Bahrain and Cambodia to the Czech Republic and England. The journalist was allowed one - from the "News". From confidential interviews, I realized that much of the guests - the officers of special services. This is normal, given the specificity of production. By the way, the American representative at the seminar was not. More precisely, he came quickly learned how to conduct workshops him, and without unpacking suitcases, left home. Logic is not for mere mortals.

Powerful old

 - 45 years of working here, - said the director of the separation plant Leonid Chernov. - This whole life. Came when the city was barely visible through the taiga. And never ceases to amaze me how the scientists were able to create a setup with these characteristics? We remember the many academics Kikoin and Friedlander. Powerful old came up with so much that we still live in these achievements. Now do not get up, but we are trying to improve brilliant finds.

In all countries, although these countries without exception, uranium enriched gas diffusion method, an incredible number of times prodavlivaya gas through the membrane. This requires a huge amount of energy, water and space. By the AECC by Angara paved wide channel, which bred exotic fish. But in the 1960s, began the introduction of new uranium enrichment centrifuge method, in which the gas is separated into fractions by the rapid rotation on the carousel. Costs decreased tenfold. Physically, the idea is simple, but it is impossible to establish the production difficult. America centrifuges were too tough. Efforts incredible effort, but experiments invariably ended with accidents, centrifuges destroy everything around - and the Senate, not knowing about the successes of the Soviet Union, decided to terminate the operation.

Such designs are found only in science fiction novels. Centrifuge, in which uranium hexafluoride is rotated at 1,500 revolutions per second, .... None bearing a white light such speeds will not sustain. Centrifuge, like clockwork, based on an alumina thin needle. At the top of balance is maintained by the magnetic field. Separated fractions helps a temperature gradient, which complied with the pharmacy accuracy. Dreidel spinning wildly - this is no exaggeration! - For 30 years. If you suddenly lost electricity, the centrifuge will spin for another 2 hours before connecting the emergency systems. In my head the idea that perpetual motion is still possible. In the shops the size of a gum are cascades of hundreds of thousands of centrifuges that resemble looking to vault the church organ. For production in response only engineer who gradually moved the shop on a bicycle. Direct proof of the benefits of technological progress: the price of Russian uranium to 5 times lower than in the US.

 - Several times I was in America, visited research centers - said Academician Joseph Friedlander. - Just said that nothing they will not work. Rough structure, bad properties. The world's largest aluminum company, "Alcoa" in Pittsburgh gave reception in my honor. Sitting at the table next to millionaires - and I with a few hundred rubles a month. But millions would never hide it, and it's funny that Americans can not catch up with us.

Russian carousel in China

 - Khrushchev transferred to China many nuclear technology - the director of AECC Alexander Belousov. - Without Khrushchev China has not got to the atomic bomb. China has turned out to be our old gaseous diffusion technology. In the 1990s, when the industry was dying, agreements were signed on the construction of centrifuge plants in China. I have built two plants, all of them will be four. Centrifuge technology itself, naturally, we do not share. China is trying to copy our centrifuges, parses screw up, repeats the geometry, but the result hides.

The result, according to information from knowledgeable sources, not inspiring. Chinese centrifuges showered in three months. It must be remembered also that China sold not the new Russian setting, and we are working centrifuges 5th generation, has already begun implementing the 7th and developed the design of the 9th generation.

How many centrifuges we sell to China? Four plant worth $ 1 billion to 200, 300, 500 and 500 separative work units (SWU). Total - 1, 5 million SWU, less power plant in Angarsk. The total capacity of Russian factories exceeds 20 million SWU. Russian centrifuges raise nuclear power generation in China from 9 to 15 GW. In Russia, nuclear power capacity is now 22 GW.

An agreement on the 4th stage centrifuge plant in China recently signed during the first foreign visit of President Medvedev. The creator of a unique alloy V96ts and the last of the surviving founders of the centrifugal method of Academician Joseph Friedlander Affairs in connection with the spate of new order - every day turns to night at work. Soon Lenin Prize and State Prizes, Methuselah Russian science turns 95 years old. It may well be that his irrepressible energy academician draws from them is created centrifuges.

Baptism in the Lake Baikal

Mankind is divided into two parts - those who have been on the lake, and those who did not happen to the lake. Thus spoke the first director of the plant Viktor Novokshenov, was at the helm for 30 years. This philosophy, in order to push the visitors into the water, provocative develop: that part of what happens on the lake, is also divided - between those who swim in the cold lake in the world, and those who do not swim in it.

Foreigners were taken to Lake Baikal and forced to choose which part of the humanity they appear. Admittedly, the Russian systems almost went into the ice of Baikal, accompanying swimming and heart-rending cries of joy. Japanese and Arabs timidly, like icicles, huddled on the beach. Europeans looked away. The Englishman walked away, but the gentleman explained that the next time will take with them a swimming costume and certainly redeemed.

When all is shifted strong drinks, it turned out that one foreigner lacking. After roll call, it became clear that the Czech lost - he sat quietly in the icy lake, but do not give signs of freezing. Abundant physique Czech argued that the warmest wetsuit work enough beer and sausages. But, released on the shore, the Czech broke and laughed hysterically. View walrus fell plaque nailed to the boulder, which states that in these remote places twice swam the chief editor of the newspaper "Pravda" Comrade Valentine Shurchanov.

Foreigners who join the nuclear centers can expect other surprises. Late in the evening held a meeting with the miners unexpectedly from Cheremhovo who indulged rest and a drink offering, capable of causing a small flood of old Europe. These good people have the ability to move from the boundless hospitality to excessive aggressiveness in the blink of an eye, and the sole reason that foreigners are not so drunk. Say that it is Russian, it would, hopefully, be unfair. I think that more of this Russian centrifuges, which nobody in the world can not be repeated.

Joke Mao

At a meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties in Moscow in 1957, Chairman Mao decided to behave in the same way as the other world who quit Stalin. Mao allowed myself to this style because it was close to the possession of the atomic bomb. In the narrow circle of Mao began to think about what would happen if a nuclear war and die a few tens of millions of Chinese, this particular value will not have - even more Chinese people will remain. Palmiro Togliatti asked anxiously: "The Italians also die?" Mao immediately replied: "Did the Italians have value?" In his memoirs, Mao wrote that it was the black humor in the spirit of Stalin, but none of the revisionists did not appreciate it.

For you to repeat the 37th year

From the conversation with Academician Joseph Friedlander

Question: Do Beria before nuclear tests were two parallel lists: the higher the reward in case of success - the longer prison sentence for failure. Above the clouds you do not thickened?

answer: Thrice could shoot well. One day, when we have already received the Lenin Prize, the accident occurred, in the centrifuge lid flew away, broke all around. Raise the radioactive cloud. Stopped kilometer installations. In Sredmash centrifuges commanded by General Zverev, to the atomic project he worked with Beria. The general said: "The situation is critical. Under the threat of national defense. If we do not quickly improve the situation for you to repeat the 37th year. " And immediately closed the meeting.

Round the clock puzzled month slept in the shop. Finally I remembered that 30 years ago we were on the direct orders of Stalin built a replica of the best American B-29 bomber. Three of these aircraft were shot down by the Japanese, and sat in the Far East. Then we created the technology of casting slabs due to a sharp cooling water and fundamentally improved the quality of the metal. Alloy D-16 are still widely used in aviation. In the Soviet Union two years was built 630 Tu-4, although it is now in such a scale is hard to believe. With one of the Tu-4 in 1949 was dropped the first Soviet atomic bomb.

In the end I managed to build a plant for casting ingots with a sharp cooling water, where the metal structure was perfect. Without this setting centrifuge technology in the Soviet Union would be buried, as happened in the United States. Such facilities today anywhere in the world no more. This is the logic of science: from idea to create a fundamentally new installations takes many years. But it was the appearance of plants can be regarded as the birthday of centrifuge technology. And it was done in the USSR surprisingly quickly.

Sergei Leskov


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