Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Nonproliferation

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Cognitive safeguards

How to multitask when nuclear nonproliferation is on the line

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New cognitive science research from Sandia National Laboratories shows that while maps can help someone identify landmarks while being escorted, using one also limits situational awareness and knowledge of surroundings not highlighted on the map. This finding is one of several coming from a three-year project that paired cognitive scientists and international […]

Earthquake or underground explosion?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories researchers, as part of a group of National Nuclear Security Administration scientists, have wrapped up years of field experiments to improve the United States’ ability to differentiate earthquakes from underground explosions, key knowledge needed to advance the nation’s monitoring and verification capabilities for detecting underground nuclear explosions. The nine-year […]

A man in profile scans three white canisters with a brass box -- the new neutron detection equipment

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 […]

Side-by-side comparison of scintillators made from trans-stilbene and organic glass.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

MOA signing

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 […]

Jill Hruby

Chinese nuclear security center opens with help from Sandia Labs

Sandia helps support physical protection system to train future nuclear security experts ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) Principal Deputy Administrator Madelyn Creedon, Sandia National Laboratories President and Labs Director Jill Hruby and other experts and international guests joined with leaders of China on March 18 to […]


Workhorse gamma ray generator HERMES III fires its 10,000th shot at Sandia Labs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The High-Energy Radiation Megavolt Electron Source, better known as HERMES III, has fired its 10,000th shot at Sandia National Laboratories. HERMES III, the world’s most powerful gamma ray generator, produces a highly energetic beam that tests how well electronics can survive a burst of radiation that approximates the output of a nuclear […]

James Chavez

New vice president to oversee energy, security, nonproliferation research at Sandia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has appointed James M. Chavez vice president of its Energy, Nonproliferation and High Consequence Security Division and its International, Homeland and Nuclear Security Program Management Unit effective Sept. 11. He replaces Jill Hruby, who became Sandia president and labs director in July. Most recently, Chavez has served as the […]

Sandia tamper-detecting seal is tough to fool

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A critical area of security is ensuring that something inside a container stays there. Sandia National Laboratories has made the job easier with an innovative technology that detects signs of tampering. “In our world, one advance by an adversary can make a security technology obsolete overnight,” said Dianna Blair, manager of Sandia’s […]

Jill Hruby

New Sandia director will be first woman to lead national security lab

Jill Hruby to become 14th director in Sandia’s 66-year history ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jill M. Hruby today was named the next president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, the country’s largest national lab. She will be the first woman to lead a national security laboratory when she steps into her new role July 17. A […]

MINER shines in urban emergency response exercise

Mobile imager of fast neutrons spots radiation source at a distance and through shielding LIVERMORE, Calif. — A nuclear device has been hidden in a high-rise building in a major metropolitan area. Emergency responders have intelligence that narrows down the location to a single city block, but it isn’t safe to search door-to-door. Can they […]


Sandia completes major overhaul of key nuclear weapons test facilities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sandia National Laboratories recently completed the renovation of five large-scale test facilities that are crucial to ensuring the safety and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons systems. The work supports Sandia’s ongoing nuclear stockpile modernization work on the B61-12 and W88 Alt, assessments of current stockpile systems and test and analysis for […]


3D Earth model developed at Sandia Labs more accurately pinpoints source of earthquakes, explosions

Sandia offers free, standardized GeoTess software to public ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – During the Cold War, U.S. and international monitoring agencies could spot nuclear tests and focused on measuring their sizes. Today, they’re looking around the globe to pinpoint much smaller explosives tests. Under the sponsorship of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Defense Nuclear […]

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