Russian atom blast surprises scientists

By United Press

Even some of the men who developed the atomic bomb for the United States were caught by surprise today when President Harry Truman announced that Russia had produced an atomic explosion.

Following is comment from experts:


Dr. Harold C. Urey, atomic pioneer said in Chicago that it was "inevitable" that Russia would produce an atom bomb.

"Apparently they developed it faster than most people though," he said, "but not much faster.

"There is only one thing worse than one nation having the atomic bomb, that's two nations having it."

Gen. Frederick Osborn, permanent U.S. Representative on the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission said:

"I am sure the report is correct. I know that we are equipped to know. ... We have observers at different points.:

Gen. A.G.L. McNaughton, Canada's chief spokesman on the Atomic Energy Commission, said he was "not surprised:" at the Russian achievement.

Amazasp A. Arutiunian, Russian delegate to the United Nations said he was not surprised at the announcement.

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky refused to comment "at this time." He is scheduled to speak in the United Nations General Assembly later, but his secretary would not say whether Vishinsky will mention the atomic announcement.


In Cambridge, Mass., George B. Kistiakowsky, Lawrence professor of Chemistry at Harvard University who worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos said:

"The announcement of President Truman comes as no great surprise to American scientists who worked on the atomic bomb."

"As early as 1945 these scientists repeatedly and publicly stated that any attempt to keep the principle of the atomic bomb secret would be futile and that competent scientists of other countries would in time produce atomic bombs.

"The time required then was estimated at from three to six years -- a very good guess, it seems."

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