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Brighter Than A Million?

Sixteen years after the dropping of an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 by the US, the erstwhile Soviet Union performed testing exercise of a bomb, almost 3,000 times more powerful than that of the US’, in 1961! After so many years, the video of the explosion has been released by the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation, ROSATOM! The recently released 40-minute video-clip depicts how the bomb was detonated, with a protective shield. The secret video was released on ROSATOM’s YouTube channel on August 21, 2020. It is to be noted that President Vladimir Putin had founded ROSATOM on December 1, 2007.

According to the 59-year-old documentary video released by ROSATOM, the 50-Megatonne Hydrogen Bomb exploded on Novaya Zemlya, a small archipelago in the Arctic Ocean in Northern Russia and the extreme northeast of Europe. In Russian, it was termed ‘Tsar Bomba’ (means the sovereign king of bombs). First, the 26ft-long 26-tonne bomb was taken to a certain place from the laboratory by a train. It was then shifted to a TU-95 aircraft and sent to Novaya Zemlya…

The Tsar Bomba

On October 30, 1961, the bomb was dropped on the small island, under Soviet occupation, by a parachute. However, the Tsar Bomba did not touch the ground as it was detonated in the sky, about 4,000mt above the sea level. The countdown began just after it was dropped from the plane. The New York Times has reported: “From several angles and distances, the video shows the development of the weapon’s gargantuan mushroom cloud, hinting at the bomb’s churning power and apocalyptic force.” The flash of light could be seen from hundreds of kilometres away!

The testing of this Hydrogen Bomb was the outcome of arms race between the then two Superpowers: the US and the Soviet Union! Robert S Norris, a Historian of the Atomic Age, was heard mentioning: “There was a megatonnage race – who was going to have a bigger bomb! And the Soviets won.” The US had shocked the Global Community by dropping two atom bombs on Japan at the end of the Second World War… Japan is yet to recover from the devastating effects of those two explosions. Although no other country has so far used an atomic bomb, many are experimenting on it.

Comparison between Tsar Bomba & Fat Man, Little Boy

Meanwhile, Nuclear Historian at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ Alex Wellerstein has described the release of the video as “a nice addition to the growing body of public information”. He stressed on the fact that the bomb’s description in the video documentary would help the public know about arms race between the two countries. At the same time, he said that the ROSATOM has carefully avoided the secret technical details of the experiment with the Hydrogen Bomb

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