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Category Archives: Nuclear Weapons

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Drop of mock B61-12 is first of new flight tests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — From a distance, the drop of a mock nuclear weapon — containing only non-nuclear components — was a mere puff of dust rising from a dry lake bed at Nevada’s Tonopah Test Range. However, it marked the start of a new series of test flights vital to the nation’s B61-12 weapon refurbishment […]

Evaluating nuclear weapons: Sandia Labs taking a modern approach

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is transforming how it assesses nuclear weapons in a stockpile made up of weapons at different stages in their lifecycles — some systems that have existed for decades alongside those that have undergone life extension programs. Back when the United States was developing new nuclear weapon systems, weapons typically […]

Exploring the evolution of nuclear deterrence through interviews, historical footage

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories explores the evolution of nuclear deterrence in a new documentary that combines modern and historical footage with a wide range of interviews. On Deterrence features interviews with former secretaries of defense, general officers, policymakers, analysts, scholars and scientists with varied viewpoints to describe the impact of nuclear deterrence since […]

Sled track simulates high-speed accident in B61-12 test

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has sent a mock B61-12 nuclear weapon speeding down the labs’ 10,000-foot rocket sled track to slam nose-first into a steel and concrete wall in a spectacular test that mimicked a high-speed accident. It allowed engineers to examine safety features inside the weapon that prevent inadvertent nuclear detonation. Data […]

Looking from space for nuclear detonations

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories’ Jaime Gomez was too busy to celebrate the successful launch of the latest nuclear detonation detection system — he was already deep into the next generation. The Global Burst Detection (GBD) system launched Feb. 5 from Cape Canaveral aboard the 70th Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite. The GBD looks […]

Lightning lab: Recreating nature’s big show for research

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories creates lightning in a lab to evaluate how anything from sensitive nuclear weapons components to entire buildings will hold up against the worst that nature might throw at them. “Sandia’s primary mission is to assure an ‘always/never’ operating condition for nuclear weapons,” said Larry Schneider, senior manager of Sandia’s […]

Sandia’s California site invites community to 60th anniversary celebration

LIVERMORE, Calif. –Sixty years ago, the Giants played baseball in New York and the Athletics in Kansas City, Dwight Eisenhower was president and Sandia National Laboratories opened its California site in the city of Livermore, which at the time had a population of under 10,000. Because of Sandia’s California site and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, […]

‘Cold War Warriors:’ Sandia’s decades in nuclear weapons

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories video producer Myra Buteau swept a hand toward the top shelf of a bookcase stuffed with black cases of high-definition tapes. The biggest challenge in telling the story of Sandia’s years of above-ground and underground nuclear weapon field tests, she said, was condensing the 100 hours of interviews on […]

Sandia dial-a-fire test complex ignites huge blaze

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Though researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories Thermal Test Complex study a variety of fires, they focus on those that rotate rather than burn in place. Whirls generate much higher heat fluxes than non-rotational fires. Massive flames billow from a 16-foot-high test enclosure placed within Sandia National Laboratories’ Thermal Test Complex. Researchers […]

Sandia inks emergency response pact with California Fire and Rescue Training Authority

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Sandia National Laboratories and the California Fire and Rescue Training Authority (CFRTA) this month signed a memorandum of agreement to develop new concepts and capabilities for emergency planning, exercise and response. The agreement was signed by Marianne Walck, vice president of Sandia’s California site and the Energy & Climate program, and by […]

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