Soviet project to develop an atomic bomb

The Soviet project to develop an atomic bomb begun during the 2nd World War. Joseph Stalin ordered to start with the project, because he knew that some other states were already working on a nuclear weapon development. It was impossible to start the research during the war with Nazi Germany, so that Soviet Union begun to work on the development of nuclear weapon after the American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The secret research was led by Soviet nuclear physicist Igor Kurchatov.

They managed to develop an implosion-type nuclear weapon fairly quickly. The first Soviet nuclear weapon test was conducted on 29 August 1949 at Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR. The test was code-named First Lighting, but Americans used the code-name Joe 1. As the test was successful, the Soviet Union became the second state after the United States, which developed a nuclear weapon.

Since 29 August 1949 the Soviet Union conducted many nuclear weapon tests with significant environmental and public health effects. The most important Soviet tests: RDS-1 conducted on 29 August 1949, RDS-2 conducted on 24 September 1951, RDS-3 conducted 18 October 1951, RDS-6 conducted 12 August 1953, RDS-37 conducted on 22 November 1955 and many others.