The Russian Federal Nuclear Center - VNIIEF is the largest research center in Russia that successfully addresses defense, science and national economy problems. The Institute was founded in 1946; it made a major contribution to production of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons in the USSR and eliminated the US nuclear weapons monopoly. The VNIIEF activity ensured nuclear parity in the world during the "Cold War" years, keeping Mankind from global military conflicts.
High scientific potential and the variety of problems solved by RFNC-VNIIEF are in many respects determined by talent and energy of the distinguished scientists who were at the outset of VNIIEF. Schools of thought initiated by them have been developed on an extensive scale. This enables advanced knowledge in various fields of science and technology to be gained and new ideas and high technologies to be developed. The following prominent scientists worked at VNIIEF: I.V.Kurchatov, Yu.B. Khariton, Ya.B. Zeldovich, A.D. Sakharov, N.N. Bogolyubov, M.A. Lavrentiev, I.Ye. Tamm, G.N. Flerov, Ye.A. Negin, S.G. Kocharyants, A.I. Pavlovskii, Yu.N. Babaev, S.B. Kormer and many others. They created much of what the Russian science is proud of. Today's generation of scientists together with the senior scientists are keeping up these traditions. The Institute has created and developed schools of physics, mathematics, design, experiment, chemistry and technology.
Today the primary mission of the Institute is to ensure the reliability and safety of nuclear weapons in Russia.
The RFNC - VNIIEF offers a powerful computational, experimental, testing and production base that allows timely and effective solutions to the tasks assigned to the Institute.
The RFNC - VNIIEF includes several institutes: Institute of Theoretical and Computational Physics, Institute of Experimental Gas Dynamics and Detonation Physics, Institute of Nuclear and Radiation Physics, Institute of Laser Physics, Research and Engineering Center of High Energy Density Physics, and Design Bureaus and other programmatic divisions all directed by the general scientific and administrative management.
The Institute is intensively working towards higher nuclear weapons performance, improving their efficiency, safety and reliability. Currently, with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in force, the nuclear weapons research and development activities are mostly concentrated at computational and theoretical, design and test divisions of the Institute.
Nuclear weapons activity of RFNC - VNIIEF is carried on in accordance with the federal programs on nuclear stockpile and nuclear weapons industry development in the context of Russia's obligations to observe the Non-Proliferation Treaty and Agreements on improved export control system. The system of quality management in RFNC-VNIIEF related to the defense issues was certified for compliance with the requirements of the state military standards in force in the Russian Federation.
The VNIIEF initiated implementation of an extensive program of the Soviet Union to conduct nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. In 1962, the VNIIEF scientists met a unique challenge of thermonuclear fuel ignition in the absence of fissile materials. That was a significant step forward on the road to the future thermonuclear power.
With its high scientific and technological capabilities, the RFNC - VNIIEF has been able to expand the scope of research and development and effectively explore new high technology areas, obtain world-class scientific results and carry out unique fundamental and applied studies. Since 1990 the Institute has been developing intensive international collaboration in unclassified science and technology areas.