Secret period

After World War II, Sillamäe with its secret military industry was the most secret place in Estonia. For a long time Sillamäe was not marked on any maps, as its address was written only in special code. It was only possible to enter the town with special permission. The reason for all this was the military industry. Uranium was enriched in Sillamäe. Though World War II was over, the so-called cold war proceeded, and soon began an "arms race". The basic strategic goal of the Soviet Union became the possession a nuclear weapon. In the beginning uranium was used for creation of the nuclear weapon.

The interest of the Soviet Union to Sillamäe arose during winter 1944-1945, when a group of geologists from the Moscow Institution arrived here. Their work was so important, so much, that the government leader of Estonia, A. Veimer had to curate their work. Geologists had to investigate stocks of slate. The northern part of Estonia was still mined, so geologists were here only with the protection of the army.
In the spring of 1945, there was a meeting in the Kremlin to discuss the creation of a raw material base for the nuclear industry. Beria, Voroshilov, Malenkov, Mikojan, Zavenjagin, Andropov, academicians Kapitse and Smirnov, Gorjumov, Sherbakova and Altagusen took part in this discussion. According to some sources, Stalin also participated in this discussion. It was said that, there is not enough mineral deposits in Russia, however, a potentiality large deposit of minerals had been found in Estonia. As an example a piece of slate and three-litre jar of a uranium concentrate were put on a table. The meeting caused a big interest, as Voroshilov told, that "if it is necessary, uranium can be made from this clay".

The town suffered from the war and apartment houses remained only in coastal territory, but tenants were not allowed to live there. According to the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, construction of Sillamäe factory nr.7. Construction of a new factory began on the ruins of a slate factory.

Construction was supervised from the ministerial council of the Soviet Union. Direction a factory and its name (Factory nr.7) and the order of a maintenance labour force were defined. In 1947 the factory received a unit number and it was forbidden to use its address in correspondence, only the number of a mail box, nr.22. The factory had a code name: Красильная фабрика (colour plant), in its personal correspondence it was sometimes named by name of its director-object of Gukov. In the first post-war years, construction of a secret factory in Sillamäe was one of the major goals for controls of the Soviet Union.

It is impossible to tell the exact number of builders of the Sillamäe factory, but according to some information, the number is about 18000 people (by the end of 1946). Due to the fact, that building of the factory was in the control of the ministry of internal affairs, the basic part of builders was done by soldiers and prisoners. Construction of the factory in Sillamäe was the largest during this period, so it affected development and formation of the population of all Northeast Estonia. Earlier, the Northeast was ethno cultural territory, during wars and occupations mostly all the population was lost, so the population in post-war years developed as a result of migration process. According to the data of population accounting of 1989, out of 1000 inhabitants, only 31 had Estonian as their mother tongue in Narva, and only 25 out of 1000, in Sillamäe. Together in Estonia those people totaled 619. Casual people could not get in the town, because here they needed people with special education and qualifications. Thus the population with a high educational level was generated.

In the beginning, local soil was used for producing. A mine was built for this purpose. During the period 01.01.1949 until 31.06.1952, from the local mine, 2 405 000 tons of soil with a concentration of uranium of 0,0036% have been taken, which means 63,3 tons of potential metal. Local soil did not have enough uranium, so raw material was brought from other socialist countries. Because of the lack of knowledge about radioactive radiation, during the processing of the uranium, problems with the wastes occurred. On the seacoast there was 12 million tons of waste, including the radioactive waste of uranium. Now this waste dump is safe, by virtue of the biggest environmental project in Estonia, which cost 312 millions kroons.

Supplies for Sillamäe passed through Moscow, so it was much better than in other cities of Estonia. All post-war history of Sillamäe is connected with construction of the secret enterprise. All other objects have been constructed only in view of interests of a factory. At the construction of a factory, money was not considered, as it has brought to town dwellers many privileges. Until now it is told about how people from other cities tried to get here to buy the scarce goods. The architecture of the town is a phenomenon. In the beginning of 1950, the town was generated and became one of the most unique in Estonia. Sillamäe was constructed according to the general plan in Stalin neo-classicist style. Construction passed on the basis of projects which were developed by representation of the ministry in Leningrad. In 1949 Sillamäe got the architectural premium of the ministerial council.