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Nuclear quotes and anecdotes thread


DDE
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This originally started as a quote for

only it wasn't really a quote. I originally intended this thread to be dedicated exclusively to translations of tidbits the Rosatom Fun Stories page, but why limit the fun? Also, I do not claim ownership over said source. So feel free to bite in or come up with tidbits of your own.

 

 

 

New reactor testing is underway at Semipalatinsk. In the dead of night, Anatoly Aleksandrov gets a call.

"Anatoly Petrovich, we've got a problem. The reactor coolant is foaming up."

"Where did you get that water?"

"...from the meat packing plant."

"Congratulations! You've got broth!"

Edited by DDE
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Posted (edited)

Evgeny Avrorin took part in the top-secret Soviet nuclear tests in Kazakhstan. On one occasion, he picked up a flower, dried it, and some time later he crossed paths with his father, a noted botanist.

"Where do you think this is from?"

"It's from Kazakhstan."

A year later, he brought another specimen from a test site.

"And what about this one?"

"Son, if you show me one more endemic, I'll nail the spot in the Semipalatinsk steppes down to five miles."

Edited by DDE
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10 minutes ago, Admiral Fluffy said:

“May all our devices explode as successfully as today's, but always over test sites and never over cities” -Andrei Sakharov

Late in the night after spending the day running a relativity exam, Igor Tamm calls Michail Leontovich.

"You know what, why did we slap that Sakharov kid down with a '3'? I think he was right all along, we're just didn't understand him, we're the ones who deserve to be called 'sufficient'. Let me call him come morning."

That's how Tamm became Andrei Sakharov's science advisor.

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A rookie nuclear engineer departs for Object 817 (Mayak plutonium factory). His instructions are as follows: "Go to Kyshtym, find a covered truck by the church, it'll take you to the facility."

He hops off the train in Kyshtym and approaches the first babushka he spots.

"Grandma, where's the local church?"

"Go that way until you spot the covered truck that takes people to the nukular, the church will be nearby."

 

In a similar manner, due to indiscretion of the architect Michail Levin's aunt, Atomproject in Leningrad was openly referred to by everyone and their dog as the Secret Institute.

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Yakov Zel'dovich was notorious for, among other things, managing to pursue a meteoric career without ever formally graduating from uni, being a one-man physics discoveries machine, and the number of marriages and extramarital dalliances.

For whatever reason, when he reached the status of academician, his colleagues in Arzamas-16 greeted him with the gift of a mortarboard stencilled with "USSR Academy of Sciences", and swimming trunks that read "Active member".

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China did not only develop strategic nuclear weapons, it built a small number of 8kt tactical bombs in the early 1970s.

Tests were conducted of the device. There were a number of failures before a successful detonation.

The worst of these was on December 30th, 1971. The Q-5A attack aircraft (based on the MiG-19) went in on the bombing run, but the bomb did not release. The pilot made three attempts but it would not fall. Eventually he began running low on fuel. Not wanting the work done on the project to go to waste, he flew back to base with the nearly live (four out of five safety mechanisms had been released) bomb.

The Q-5A with the bomb has only 10cm of ground clearance. After making a careful landing, he taxied to a parking area. He was forced to get out himself (no ladders and support crew coming out to the plane). The air base was completely deserted, as everyone (10,000 personnel in all) evacuated to underground tunnels.

Allegedly, apart from the risk of the destruction of the base and deaths of all personnel, the base crew were angry at the pilot due to this all taking place around noon- thus interrupting their lunch!

This incident was made into a movie in China, but for some reason the aircraft in the movie carries 57mm rockets along with the nuclear bomb (which it was capable of doing in real life but did not during the tests).

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A quickie.

The Zababakhin All-Russian Scientific Research Institute Of Technical Physics is the innocent name for the secondary nuclear weapons office. Its notable leader was Evgeny Zababakhin.

The onomatopoeic equivalent of "kaboom" in Russian is "babakh".

Step aside, Dr. Doom, here comes the Kaboomski A-bomb design office. You couldn't make this stuff up even if you tried.

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6 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

China did not only develop strategic nuclear weapons, it built a small number of 8kt tactical bombs in the early 1970s.

My best friend: "I hope the Q-5 I in War Thunder were mounted in a way that was historically accurate."

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The code name of the China's first atomic bomb: Miss Qiu (邱小姐)

For the official explosion test of the atomic bomb, the secret word is Lao Qiu (老邱); for the assembly of atomic bomb, is "Dressing" (穿衣); for the atomic bomb in the assembly room,  is "Living in the Wing-room (住下房)”; for the bomb transfer to the tower, is "Living in the Principal Room  (住上房)"; for the bomb with detonator inserted is "Braid the hair (梳辫子)”; For the weather is "Blood Pressure (血压)"; for the time of detonation of the bomb is "Midnight (零时)”, and for the telegram informing Premier Zhou Enlai of the "Successful detonation of the atomic bomb" was: Miss Qiu is married (邱小姐出嫁了).

Put them all together would be: Miss Qiu living in the wing-room now, going to the dressing table to braid her hair and start dressing. Now she living in the principal room with her wedding dress. Midnight has come, Miss Qiu is married.

"Sir, those Chinese suddenly really care about a girl named Miss Qiu. Do you have any clue on it?"

Edited by steve9728
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Today, while reading about the Megatons to Megawatts deal, I've discovered that there is a NUKEM Technologies GmbH.

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7 hours ago, DDE said:

Today, while reading about the Megatons to Megawatts deal, I've discovered that there is a NUKEM Technologies GmbH.

Which used to be a subsidiary of Nukem GmbH, which also owned Nukem Corp. in the USA.

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15 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Is their CEO name Duke?

Not that I know of. But I'm sure they had CEOs that ran the company like their own private fiefdom. And, yes, the company deals with nuclear fuel. (I'm sure, if you asked them nicely they could help you to some weapons-grade U235.)

Although the company is mostly (in-)famous for they way they(*) ... errr ... mislaid some few thousand (cough) barrles of nuclear waste in the late 1980ies. :cool:
(*) Technically one of their daughter companies: Transnuklear.

Edited by AHHans
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2 minutes ago, AHHans said:

Although the company is mostly (in-)famous for they way they(*) ... errr ... mislaid some few thousand (cough) barrles of nuclear waste. :cool:

Yes, I remember that story.

Spoiler

duke-nukem-3d.png?resize=1212,712barrels2-620x.jpg

Shooting the barrels of radioactive wastes is not always a good idea.

 

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3 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:
Spoiler

Shooting the barrels of radioactive wastes is not always a good idea.

Well, that's at least what some German party-pooping politicians said.

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When I was in second grade my job for bomb drills (Rye, NY, not that far from NYC) was to close the Venetian blinds in the classroom before we exited to the windowless hallway where we sat against the (concrete) interior wall on the floor.

Presumably my job was twofold—first, to prevent the flash from immolating our crayon drawings pinned to the opposite wall, and second I guess to stop some of the glass from the blast wave that might follow.

Good times.

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  • 3 months later...

The stars aligned in a tragic manner in the summer of 1961, during a rehearsal of the Soviet Air Force aerobatic team for the Tushino air parade. A four-ship formation of MiG-19s had flown past the airfield when one of the aircraft suddenly went into a spin. The aircraft crashed, killing Yuri Fitin, the pilot. Upon the landing of the remaining aircraft, Artem Mikoyan himself arrived on the scene, and his team discovered the problem (a flaw in the aileron trim tabs) and had it fixed in time for the aircraft to participate in the event.

But the aircraft had not just crashed anywhere- out of all of the places to have such an event, it occurred on the grounds of the I.V. Kurchatov Nuclear Energy Institute, which contained multiple research reactors. No major damage is described as having occurred however, while the aircraft did not catch fire after impacting.

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I was a member of a group that was led by Niels Bohr, after the test in Alamogordo, that was very much opposed to the use of this new weapon on civilian cities. … But by and large we were in a minority, but a rather distinguished minority. -M ark Oliphant
 

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