*** Welcome to piglix ***


Country Soviet Union
Test site Semipalatinsk Test Site, Kazakh SSR
Period November, 1955
Number of tests 1
Test type Atmospheric Test
Device type Fusion
Max. yield Total yield 1.6 megatons of TNT (6.7 PJ)
Previous test RDS-27
Next test RDS-41

RDS-37 was the Soviet Union's first two-stage hydrogen bomb, first tested on November 22, 1955. The weapon had a nominal yield of approximately 3 megatons. It was scaled down to 1.6 megatons for the live test.

The Hydrogen Bomb was a reaction to the efforts of the United States. Previously, the Soviet Union used many of their spies in the U.S. to help them generate methods and ideas for the atomic bomb. The creation of the hydrogen bomb required less usage of this method, although they still received help from some spies, most importantly, Klaus Fuchs.

In 1945, the Soviet Union reached a decision to work on a design for a "super bomb". Also in 1945, Enrico Fermi gave lectures at Los Alamos discussing the fusion process. At the end of his lecture he stated “so far all schemes for the initiation of the super [are] rather vague".

In the spring of 1946, Edward Teller set up a conference to assess all the information known about the hydrogen bomb. Klaus Fuchs attended this same conference. In the same year, Teller postulated a new design for the hydrogen bomb, which he called the "Alarm Clock" which he suggested would use Lithium-6 Deuteride instead of pure Deuteride.

Klaus Fuchs had passed on information about both the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb to the Soviet Union. This information resulted in the recruitment of Igor Tamm’s group, whose work helped create the hydrogen bomb. The content that Fuchs provided in 1948 was not only related to the Hydrogen Bomb but also the atomic industry as a whole. It provided detailed insight into the bomb design using a two-stage igniting block.

The designs were quickly sent to Lavrentiy Beria, who had been placed in charge of the Russian Bomb Program by Joseph Stalin and forwarded to Igor Kurchatov, Boris Vannikov and Yulii Khariton, to validate and assess these designs. On May 5, 1948, Vannikov and Kurchatov wrote a reply stating