30 years later, Hunters Trophy participants recall LLNL’s final underground nuclear test

Sept. 19, 2022- 
The year was 1992. At 10 a.m. on a balmy September morning in the desolate Nevada desert, a countdown began. And for a few brief moments, the ground violently shook. In a NASA-esque control room at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) engineer Jack Cutting watched as monitors and oscilloscopes began sending back data collected on the blast, the result of...

New target facility will help unlock plutonium’s secrets

June 10, 2022- 
LLNL’s plutonium target fabrication facility includes two large gloveboxes. One houses a diamond turning capability that allows precision machining of samples, particularly for EOS targets. The second glovebox allows expanded sample preparation and assembly and also adds coating capability to deposit layers of interest directly on plutonium, eliminating glue bonds. Improving our understanding of the physical characteristics of plutonium as it ages is a vital aspect of maintaining the reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent in the absence of underground testing. The recent installation of a new plutonium target fabrication facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) aims to further progress toward that goal. Researchers have developed...

Delivering Exceptional Promise

June 10, 2022- 
An Update on Early and Mid-Career Recognition Award Recipients Lawrence Livermore’s Early and Mid-Career Recognition (EMCR) Program acknowledges the exceptional scientific, technical, and engineering contributions of individuals 4 to 16 years into their professional careers who have made significant mission-critical contributions at the Laboratory. Since the inception of the EMCR Program in...

Polymer Production Enclave Puts Additive Manufacturing on the Fast Track

June 9, 2022- 
Since its establishment, Lawrence Livermore has played a critical role in designing components for the Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE), and more recently, in developing additively manufactured polymer parts to replace aging weapons stockpile parts. Additive manufacturing (AM)—the layer-by-layer technique of printing 3D objects from a digital model—gained traction at Livermore in 2009 after...

Hydrodynamic Experiments Support Stockpile Stewardship

June 8, 2022- 
Inside a heavily shielded chamber with 1.8-meter-thick concrete walls, high explosives detonate around a mass of inert test material. Subjected to an intense shock wave, the material briefly acts like a liquid. Advanced diagnostic equipment installed throughout the chamber captures thousands of data points and x-ray images from almost every angle in a split second. The hydrodynamic test—so...

Shining a Bright Light on Plutonium

March 10, 2022- 
Article published in the April 2021 issue of S&TR. As the nation’s adversaries move to close the gap in weapon capabilities, Lawrence Livermore’s mission remains focused on supporting stockpile stewardship. Assessing weapon readiness becomes more challenging, however, with an aging stockpile and a workforce decades removed from the last live nuclear weapon tests. Computer simulations can...

Lecture explores planetary defense capabilities

Feb. 19, 2020- 
As part of the 2020 Science on Saturday series, WCI staff presents "Planetary Defense: Avoiding a Cosmic Catastrophe” that delves into the mysteries of space. Read the article.

Kim Budil to lead Weapons and Complex Integration

Jan. 22, 2019- 
Kim Budil has been named Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s new principal associate director for Weapons and Complex Integration. Read the article.