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Category Archives: Nuclear Weapons

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Supercomputing under a new lens: A Sandia-developed benchmark re-ranks top computers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Sandia National Laboratories software program now installed as an additional test for the widely observed TOP500 supercomputer challenge has become increasingly prominent. The program’s full name — High Performance Conjugate Gradients, or HPCG — doesn’t come trippingly to the tongue, but word is seeping out that this relatively new benchmarking program […]

New radiation detectors developed at Sandia used for New START inspections

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories designed, tested and delivered new radiation detection equipment for monitoring under the New START Treaty. Defense Threat Reduction Agency inspectors recently used this equipment for the first time in Russia for a New START inspection. New START, or the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, is a treaty between the […]

Sandia computer modeling aids solder reliability in nuclear weapons

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Solder isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as essential to a nuclear weapon. But since weapons contain hundreds of thousands of solder joints, each potentially a point of failure, Sandia National Laboratories has developed and refined computer models to predict their performance and reliability. “Computational modeling of solder joint fatigue […]

Scintillating discovery at Sandia Labs

Bright thinking leads to breakthrough in nuclear threat detection science LIVERMORE, Calif. — Taking inspiration from an unusual source, a Sandia National Laboratories team has dramatically improved the science of scintillators — objects that detect nuclear threats. According to the team, using organic glass scintillators could soon make it even harder to smuggle nuclear materials […]

Upgrades at Sandia’s Tonopah Test Range help weapons testing

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A former test director at Sandia National Laboratories’ Tonopah Test Range has described its combination of old and new tracking and data-collection equipment as like a mix of horseless carriages and horses — you can’t feed oats to the horseless carriages and you can’t gas up the horses. It’s been a challenge […]

Overcoming the trust barrier in nuclear weapons verification measurements

Sandia method supports real-time warhead verification without revealing design data LIVERMORE, Calif. — Trust but verify. The catchphrase for arms control popularized by President Ronald Reagan sounds simple. However, verification involving sensitive data is a very complex endeavor. Verifying that a nuclear warhead actually is a warhead may include confirming key attributes. But the act […]

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 […]

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