Probe into China’s only nuclear weapons production unit: an accelerator worths 700 million yuan (US$112 million)

By | May 20, 2013

China's only nuclear weapons production unit
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They turn ideas into reality

China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) is the only nuclear weapons development and production unit, it is engaged in the research and development of cutting-edge science and technology. It is a research institute integrating theory research, experiment, design and production. In most people’s minds, institutes gather a large number of high-end scientific research personnel, including academicians. However, many people do not know that around these scientists, there is a group of skilled personnel in China’s development of nuclear weapons production, who play an indispensable role.

In Mianyang City, Sichuan Province where the China Academy of Engineering Physics is located, a laboratory of Manufacturing Technology two lab personnel were working on debugging a machine called a “single point diamond cut” engineering prototype.

The prototype looked like ordinary machine, in fact it is a self-developed high-tech equipment to be used in national key scientific research projects. It can turn material with a rough surface into Nanometer level mirror via processing.

Because of the special use of this device in the nuclear weapons development and production unit, CAEP completely relied on their own strength in the independent research and development of this machine. Xia Huan is a researcher in the team he work with a skilled personnel – senior technician Han Changqing. “In order to achieve higher accuracy, experiments have been done to adjust the machine, in case of any questions I will have to consult with master Han.” Huan Xia said.
The scene of researchers and skilled personnel working together is everywhere. CAEP assistant director Xu Yanlin said “This is because the research work of CAEP requires a strong engineering ability to turn theory and ideal into reality”.

Technicians and academicians both play indispensable roles

In fact, in the early 1960s when nuclear weapons were under development, researchers and skilled personnel already worked closely in the CAEP.

Chinese Academy of Engineering, nuclear engineering experts, researchers Xuzhi Lei remembered that in the 1960s in the nuclear weapons development in Qinghai, research was done upstairs, and production was done in downstairs. The researchers with design drawings can require the high level of skilled workers to make samples or product.

This tradition continues today. Liu Rui said that 7,300 skilled personnel were scattered in about 1,400 various research institutes working with the scientists and contributing to the theoretical and applied research.

Source: 中国青年报

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