Marking the historic occasion, RFNC-VNIIEF director Valentin Kostyukov sat down with Russia's RIA Novosti news agency to discuss the institute's glorious past and its plans for the future. In any case, he suggested, it wouldn't be exaggeration to say that the famous institute, which remains shrouded in mystery to this day, was and remains "the pride of Russia."
The institute, first known simply as KB-11 ('Design Bureau-11'), "became our country's first nuclear center," Kostyukov recalled. "The achievements of its professionals laid the foundations to our country's nuclear deterrence capabilities, which continue to serve as the crucial foundation of Russia's military technical security to this day."
Scientists at the center had to put forward and to implement dozens of original and ambitious ideas, which enabled the USSR to eventually catch up to the US's nuclear capabilities, despite America's vast superiority of resources.
"The unique system of labor organization at KB-11, which concentrated not just outstanding scientists, but also talented designers, engineers, technologists, and managers, all of whom passed through the school of industrialization and the Second World War, quickly led to the creation not just of individual nuclear weapons, but their mass production."
The institute's achievements, Kostyukov noted, serve to illustrate the tremendous technical and scientific achievements that are possible when the right conditions are met. These, the director said, include the existence of a "supertask" of momentous, life-changing importance, the unification of the efforts of top specialists, and the necessary support from the state.
Ultimately, Kostyukov noted, "it can be said without exaggeration that the RFNC-VNIIEF is the treasure and pride of Russia."