April 29, 1942 used to be Norilsk combine birthday
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April 29, 1942 used to be Norilsk combine birthday

November 09, 2021

On April 29, 1942, electrolytic nickel was produced for the first time at a small metallurgical plant - the end product of the Norilsk combine.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The head of the electrolytic department, Ivan Iyevlev, pulled out the first nickel cathode from the bath, which metallurgists cut into plates as a keepsake. Iyevlev then handed over the piece he got to the city museum.

This is how the metallurgists themselves recalled that event:

 “Loading of electrolyte baths began. Iyevlev and Kompaneets – both participants in the start-up of the electrolytic shop in Monchegorsk – forgot sleep and rest. On the night of April 26, the tests of the electrical circuit were completed. Finally, the anodes were loaded and the electrolyte went on. They turned on the voltage. Nickel particles began to fall out of the solution, being deposited on the cathode. Norilsk nickel started off!”

On April 30, the first ton of pure industrial Norilsk nickel was sent by plane to the mainland – for armor steel.

It was a real victory for the Norilsk metallurgists, and for the next 15 years the combine’s birthday was celebrated at the end of April.

Only from the mid-1950s, June 23, 1935, that is, the date of signing the order to start the construction, began to be considered the combine’s birthday.

In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we told that until 1956 prisoners were the main labor force of the Norilsk combine.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

November 09, 2021

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