Who developed Nuclear Weapons? During World War II, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain worked to develop atomic bombs. The United States was a leader in the effort to develop these weapons, and collaborated with other nations, including Britain, Canada, and free France, to create the Manhattan Project, which eventually led to the atomic bomb. By August 1945, the United States had two atomic bombs ready for use, and President Harry S. Truman decided to use them to attack the Japanese.
The Manhattan Project was highly secretive, with the Axis powers completely unaware of the project. However, a Soviet spy called Klaus Fuchs broke in and uncovered the project. The project was only months from being completed, but it gave the United States a head start on the Cold War. It was then that Truman would be notified of the project. With this information, the U.S. and Britain were able to develop the first weapons before the Soviets.
Oppenheimer had been a director of the Los Alamos laboratory during the development of the atomic bomb. After the 1939 invasion of Poland, the United States selected Oppenheimer to lead the Manhattan Project laboratory. The Manhattan Project involved the development of the first atomic bomb. Oppenheimer resigned his post in 1945, and he later became the chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission. He was given the Enrico Fermi Award before his death in 1963.
After the Second World War, the physicists who worked on the development of nuclear weapons returned to their studies, mostly in the lab. After the war, however, some sought to control the use of nuclear weapons. Joseph Rotblat was the most idealistic of these physicists, instigator of the Pugwash Conferences, which seek to reduce the danger of armed conflict through global cooperation.
Despite the difficulty of working under a science-illiterate administrator, the Soviet scientists eventually managed to develop and test the first fission bomb on August 29, 1949. This test bomb, code-named Joe-1, was years ahead of American predictions. The United States detected nuclear fallout after the tests in the Soviet Union’s testing facility in Kazakhstan. In the end, the world exploded with nuclear weapons. And the world is still not safe.
Although the Soviet Union put its full industrial strength into developing atomic weapons, it had not scouted out its own uranium resources. The United States owned the largest uranium reserves in Belgium and Czechoslovakia, but the Soviet Union mined these old deposits with penal labor. They also tried to find domestic uranium deposits. These efforts were futile, and in the end, it led to a nuclear arms race that lasted for decades.
The Soviet Union first tested its megaton device in 1955. Since then, all major world powers have tested these weapons. These weapons have the ability to destroy entire cities. The fallout from nuclear weapons tests can be deadly, contaminating cities outside of a war zone. The harmful fission products would disperse through normal weather patterns and become embedded in soil and water. They would have an unimaginable effect on humans and animals.
The development of nuclear weapons was primarily driven by the Cold War, which pitted the United States and Soviet satellite states against each other. In 1966, American stockpile of nuclear weapons reached its maximum, which included over 32,000 warheads of 30 different types. In the end, many tactical and strategic weapons were retired and dismantled in order to comply with arms control negotiations, including the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.