1946 INITIATION OF OKB "GIDROPRESS", THE FIRST PROJECT
"A Special Design Bureau for Hydro-Steam-Pressure Equipment" (abbreviated as OKB "Gidropress") was initiated in accordance with the Decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR of January 28, 1946, by the Order of the People's Commissar of Heavy Еngineering of the USSR of February 1, 1946 under the jurisdiction of the Podolsk Machine-Building Plant. At a later stage OKB "Gidropress" was renamed as Experimental Design Organization "Gidropress". B. M. Sholkovitch was approved as Head and Chief Designer of OKB GP.
The first project was the technical design of the first industrial horizontal water-cooled uranium-graphite reactor.
The work was carried out in accordance with the decision of the Government of April 9, 1946. In parallel, three organizations were taking part in this work:
1. Chemical Engineering Research Institute headed by N. A. Dollezhal;
2. OKB "Gidropress" headed by B. M. Sholkovitch;
3. State Design Institute No. 11 of the First Main Directorate under the Council of Ministers of the USSR.
A vertical version of Niihimmash project, headed by N. A. Dollezhal, was selected for construction of the first industrial uranium-graphite reactor for plant No. 817. In February 1946, construction of plant No. 817 (later named "Mayak") began in the southern Urals on the shore of lake Kyzyl-Tash, 13 km from Kyshtym. Town Chelyabinsk-40 (later Chelyabinsk-65, since 1954 - Ozersk) was founded around the plant.
This was followed by the development of experimental heavy water reactor projects (physical start-up in 1949, stopped in 1986), research reactor MR (RFT) (physical start-up in 1952, stopped in 1962). The processes occurring during nuclear fission, as well as their impact on structural materials and cooling medium, were studied at these facilities; the foundation of future nuclear power plants was laid.