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Estonian bomb - the nuclear shield of the USSR
20.06.2013, 21:50

Эстонская бомба — ядерный щит СССР

silimae_2Of the so-called black slate, which was mined in the Estonian town of Sillamae, the Soviet Union made the very first atomic bomb. Until recently, this information was completely closed and completely secret.

"Saturday" has visited in a quiet, nice, cozy Sillamae, which stands on the shore of the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn - 186 km from Riga - 400 km. Range of pine and flowers. I can not believe that here just after the war in a top-secret plant successfully engaged in uranium enrichment - first local, then imported. Manufacturing was the defense, the city - closed.

The so-called oil-shale plant, is produced at one time weapons-grade uranium from the overlying here Dictyonema (black) shale. The company is now known as Silmet, was founded in 1946 on the site of the first discovery of uranium deposits in the USSR.

In Estonia, forged, as they said, a Soviet nuclear shield. But honestly, in this story today admire the fact that the former Soviet defense enterprise is not destroyed, and upgraded and is working for the benefit of an independent Estonia. A plant Silmet, do not believe it, among the top three among the world's producers of precious metals. Dear tantalum and niobium, which is enriched in Estonia, have been successfully used in the nuclear power industry, electronic engineering, aerospace and medicine.


The Invisible City

In Estonia - Europe's largest reserves of uranium, which is Dictyonema shale. On the territory of the neighboring country of just Nemer - about 60 billion tons.

The first Soviet uranium found near the borough of Sillamae on the Gulf of Finland, which during the Cold War was an incredibly important discovery. No wonder that the July 27, 1946, Stalin decided to build a plant for the extraction of shale uranium from local raw materials. It is clear that near the construction site there has been great working village.

Place Sillamae become invisible, evaporated on the cards. The village was not marked anywhere, for its designation used various code names, which are also from time to time change. For example, to send a letter here, it was necessary to specify "Moscow-400", then - "Leningrad-1", then - "Narva-1." The plant was built in record time, for the most severe areas close to the workers toiled prisoners and German prisoners of war criminals.

Secret object was called "factory colors" (and I want to add - radioactive) and "Plant N22». In Sillamae in the years 1946-49 was attended by representatives of the Moscow and Leningrad intelligentsia, every second resident of the village was the highest, if not academic education. The irony is that the status of the city was obtained secretly Sillamae - June 29, 1957.

The unique Soviet-Stalinist architecture Sillamae, which in Soviet times, did not spare neither money nor brains, really worth seeing: it is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the north-east of Estonia. Not by chance in 2000 under the protection of the Estonian government had taken many of the objects, including local House of Culture and cinema "Rodina".

The famous poetess Rimma Kazakova, which struck this "city of the future" in 1988, he has dedicated a poem in which he called "a fairy tale where she has long wanted to fly, but could not find on a map." In Sillamae was a special provision in the stores always had quality products and goods; well, ordinary locals first appeared in the USSR televisions, washing machines and other household appliances.


Mysterious Mole

Another interesting fact from the past: in the 80 scientists of the Leningrad branch of the Academy of Military Sciences, the defense came up with a system of "guardian of the Underground" - the miner, who was called "The Mole." This unit in the event of a nuclear attack from the ground could get through any obstruction and pull out a nuclear missile to the surface - for a retaliatory strike. There is evidence that this is the "Mole" was tested in the mine "Eclipse" (now closed) near the town of Kohtla-Jarve. They say the tests were very successful.
Tchaikovsky's favorite resort

Sillamae consists of two words: "Sealed" - "bridge" and "Mäe" - "Mountain" translated from Estonian. Most likely, the name of the place comes from the ferry, built over the river Sytke during the Russian military campaigns against the Swedes in 1704 by Peter the Great.

First mentioned in chronicles in 1502 relate to - a traveler described the local roadside inn.

By the end of XIX century Sillamae developed into a popular resort town, which fell in residents of St. Petersburg: in 1869 here, for example, rested Tchaikovsky. Pyotr Ilyich lived with relatives, and then later, having left Florence, wrote to friends: "Here in Italy, perhaps, is as beautiful as we have in Sillamyagah ..."

The well-known physiologist Ivan Pavlov generally went here a quarter-century row - from 1881 to 1917. A poet Konstantin Balmont in this remote village of Estonian, where the pine trees than people, wrote his touching "Fein tales" for baby daughter.


Estonian gold

In 1928 Sillamae was quickly transformed into an industrial oasis - in the short term, were built processing plant oil shale power plant and a small port. It has become urgent because in Estonia in 1916 was found great wealth - natural slates. Due to the extraction of combustible rock Estonia today is completely (or rather, 98 percent), self-sufficient in electricity and sell the excess to Finland and to us in Latvia. Mo-lod-particles!

It is not slow Estonians very rational and economic use of the fact that they have, according to the present time, Europe's largest deposits of oil shale and rock phosphate, proven reserves are estimated at 3.8 billion tons.

Shales deposited in the north-east of Estonia - in the region of Ida-Viru County. Although the European Union has repeatedly zhuril our neighbors for their mines, quarries and advised to stop this dirty business. But why? Oil shale - a collection of solid fossil of the prehistoric creatures caustobiolites that the processing yield a significant amount of resin, similar in composition ... to oil. This gasoline and other flammable materials! Neighbors and do not think to turn off processing of oil shale: why would they cut the branch on which it sits their economy?

One old mine called "Eclipse", although recently froze, as produced by breed gone too deep into the earth, and therefore its production has become too expensive. But! Mine field called "Eclipse" will remain open, and remain in it reserves - about eight million metric tonnes of oil shale - will be produced in the future.

But private concern Viru Keemia Grupp January 31 this year opened a new mine - Ojamaa. Which cost the company 120 million euros. Naturally, the investments made in the calculation of the profit.

Estonian experts have no doubt that in slantsedobychi, like oil shale and chemistry, there are prospects. Wait and see.


Museum-mine in Kohtla-Nõmme - the ability to go down into the bowels of the earth!

The museum is organized in a former slate mine "Kohtla", which was closed in the 1990s. The excursion takes place, accompanied by a guide - a former miner. You descend into the mine, a ride on the former mining structure (1.2 km), and to complete an extreme can even order lunch in a cafe underground (mining Lunch: soup, bun, a drink - 3.50 euros).

You, as a real miner, get clothing - a jacket and a protective helmet - and more! You will have the opportunity to work with a jackhammer, ride on an underground train in trolleys ...

You can visit the complex sorting and enrichment, buy a souvenir - ancient fossils.

     Address: Kohtla-Nõmme, ul. Jaama 1.
     Help - tel.: +372 3321441, +372 3324017.
     Price question: adults - 10 euros, pupils and students - 6 euros.
     Details: www.kaevanduspark.ee / rus.
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