Based on intercepted plans for the Soviet RDS-119, the MX-202 was developed as part of Project Plowshares. Even given the limited information available on radiation exposure in 1955, it may seem ludicrous that an atomic oven was ever under consideration. But the pervasive feeling among Army brass was that every Soviet invention needed to have a possible counterpart, and as such plans were drawn up for an atomic over capable of baking thousands of goods simultaneously, though thought was also given to using it as a crematorium or a heating apparatus.

Little did the brass know that the RDS-119 was actually a private joke among the Soviet nuclear technicians involved with the Ядерные взрывы для народного хозяйства program, and never actually given any serious consideration. In fact, the leakage of the joke caused a real-life double agent to be exposed. The revelation of this to top Soviet official Sergei Kolypin reportedly caused his death due to a heart attack–induced by laughter.

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