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...

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...

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...

Lab’s ACT-UP awards focus on collaborative university research

Jan. 12, 2022- 
With a focus on increasing joint research efforts between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and universities, the Lab’s Weapon Physics and Design (WPD) Academic Collaboration Team University Program (ACT-UP) has presented this year’s ACT-UP awards. Now in its third year, the ACT-UP awards were created to encourage and advance strategic partnerships among universities with a focus on...

LLNL Weapon Engineers, Biologists Deliver Critical Samples to Identify Skin Proteins Left on IEDs

Feb. 17, 2021- 
Following a terrorist bombing, can the bomb maker be identified by skin proteins left on the bomb components they handled? To address this question, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) personnel from Weapons Complex Integration (WCI) and Global Security (GS) Forensic Science and Biosecurity Centers (FSC/BSC) subjected notional bomb components handled by LLNL volunteers to...

Lab's ACT-UP awards focus on collaborative research

Jan. 12, 2021- 
Gaia Righi, Ph.D. candidate from UC San Diego, works on a project titled “Dynamic Strength of Iron Under Phase Changing Conditions.” Righi and faculty adviser Marc Meyers work with Hye-Sook Park and Rob Rudd from LLNL. The team was awarded an ACT-UP award last year.  With a focus on increasing joint research efforts between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and universities, the Lab’s Weapon Physics and Design (WPD) Academic Collaboration Team (ACT) University Program has awarded this year’s ACT-UP awards. Now in its second year, the ACT-UP awards were created to encourage and advance strategic partnerships among universities with...