industrial capacity is required to produce fissionable materials—the recognized crux of the problem; and Mr.
Raymond, who had been Adviser on
Russian economies to the War Department, took Mr. Hogerton's broad specifications and estimated how soon the
Russians might be able to meet them.
"Russian industry," wrote Mr. Raymond, "having neglected the manufacture of precision goods, now finds itself
prepared for the wrong type of war.
"In time, of course'. Russia can improve the quantity and quality of the
output of its precision-machinery factories. But it will take a long time. And
no U.S. or England in its righl mind
will export atomic-plant equipment to
the U.S.S.R." [This is the soft spot in
Mr. Raymond's reasoning, as. right
mind or wrong, we did. in 1947, reportedly make such exports:-' but Mr. Raymond's argument still has force, both
because tlle quantities of such exports
were probably not greal enough to furnish a real competitor, and also because'
eis General Marshall testified, the Russians as a rule do not know quite what
to do with advanced equipment when
they get it.]
"The Russians," continues Mr. Raymond, "simply cannot hope to hem- a
K-25 planl like the one at Oak Ridge
within ei few years. This would be physically impossible. The Soviet industries
which would have to supply the equipment for such a mechanical monster are
At this point it should he noted that
this physically-impossible-for-the-Sov iets
K-25 weis the onlv kinel of fissionable-
material factory that the celebrated Dr.
Klaus Fuchs knew very much about. He
could nol have given the Russians much
detailed help on a plutonium plant. And
he could nol give ihein the equipment
for any kind of planl. \l the lime of his
confession in 1950 he "explained." according to Man Miieii'eheeul. "theii il
was impossible for him. of course, to
do more than tell the Russians the principle on which the bomb weis made. It
weis up to the Russians lo produce their
own industrial equipment, and he had
been astonished [italics added | when
they had succeeded in making ami detonating a homh as soon as the previous
August. He knew. Fuchs said, that seien-
lificallv thev were' sufiui'cnlly advanced;
but he had not supposed that e ommer-
cially and industrially they were so far
Mr. Raymond's survey of Russiein
industrial capacity precluded the possibility of a Soviel K-25. and put a possible Soviet Hanforil some years into the
"Even if Russiein science should be
equal to the task, there is still no assurance that a Hanford could l.e quickly
built." said Mr. Raymond. "Soviet
scientists successfully worked out the
theory of radar some years before ils
discovery in England. Bul the Russians
were not able to pul theory into practice, and did not manufacture radar
equipment until long after both England
and America had done so. '
One thing should be made perfectly
clear: Mr. Raymond wrote before anything was known about Klaus fuchs.
and he wrote before President Truman
announced that an atomic explosion had
taken place in Russia. When his analytical report of Soviet incapacity is read
now. the more reasonable inference is
not that Mr. Raymond weis em unreliable
Forecaster, hut rather that the dramatic
ami sensational characteristics of the
Fuchs case and the Truman announce-
ment blinded most of us lo Mr. Raymond's relativelv unexciting account.
standing of lhe situation in Russia is
that even when the basic facts are'
known, they have, and I think we have
cause to be grateful, sonic difficulty in
making practical application of them.
Dr. Irving Langmuir, eminent research director, who visited Russia in
June 1915. reported, "The- thing thai
impressed me most weis the extent to
which they were working on pure' science. The Institutes | Institute of Inorganic Chemistry ami the Physical Institute] had no connection wilh industry."28
Even the scientists heul nol progressed
very far if what Ur. Langmuir told the
McMahon Committee in December 1915
was correct. "When vou go to Rnssjei.
he said, "and you find lhal Kapitza,
Fersman. FrenkeJ, and Joffe eill of
—Wide World Phot"
Modes of transportation in Russia—a Soviet locomotive on the New Turkestan-Siberian
RR line versus a camel carrying two women and child to market at Alma-Ata, capital ol
Kazakstan Soviet Republic.
Rut pniseiie- as ii meiv I.e. ii is probable.
The Russians can lieiiellv l.e- se'iiiiiis competitors wilh lhe United States, or with
lhe I nited Kingdom, in lhe construction
and operation of a complete atomic energy project. Sporadic explosions, perhaps contrived «ith quantities of fissionable mate-rial stolen from the 1 nited
Stales, do nol alter the general validity
"f Mr. Raymond's comparison.
His observation of whal is apparently
a characteristic gap between Soviet science, which everyone knows is occasionally brilliant, and Soviel "industrial construction." which, hi' s.ivs. "is still in
the piek-aud-shovel age." is especiall)
pertinent, and is supported hv other expert testimony.
Dr. J. Roberl Oppenheimer. perhaps
the most famous of atomic scientists,
lold the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy in June 1919: "...my under-
those men who eire working on problem3
that have nothing in do wilh atomic en-
erg) when Joffe tells me and shows 111''
the- cyclotron started in 1938, work of
which weis discontinued during lhe wen
and is now just starting again, ana
nils me the cyclotron will be finished
in December of ibis year and he i- ll"'
most prominent physicist thai has had
anything lo do wilh nuclear physics
when you see- that, you me con line''1'
they arc mil carrying through u ''""'
Italian project."21 [ Itedics added.] ''''
I.angniuir's conviction was presumably
based on the ev idenl rate of progress
on lln- cyclotron.
Mr. Raymond's instance of radar '''
illustrate ihe greater lag normally ,,v
pected in Russia than in England '''"
iwi'i'ii theory anel production mav |"'"'
voke us lo re-examine what we haV'
been eisked lo believe regarding ul<"""
FACTS FORUM NEWS. June. '