News Archives

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 10, 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 10, 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...

Nature paper chronicles how researchers achieved burning plasma regime for the first time in a laboratory experiment

Jan. 26, 2022- 
After decades of fusion research, a burning plasma state was achieved on November 2020 and February 2021 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s most energetic laser. Obtaining a burning plasma is a critical step toward self-sustaining fusion energy. A burning plasma is one in which the fusion reactions themselves are the primary source of...

Nature paper describes the target and laser designs that achieved a burning plasma at Lawrence Livermore

Jan. 26, 2022- 
One of the last remaining milestones in fusion research before attaining ignition and self-sustaining energy production is creating a burning plasma. In this state, the fusion reactions themselves become the dominant source of heating in the plasma, but do not yet overcome all mechanisms of energy loss. A burning plasma state was achieved on November 2020 and February 2021 at Lawrence...

Ironing out the interiors of exoplanets

Jan. 13, 2022- 
The discovery of more than 4,500 extra-solar planets has created a need for modelling their interior structure and dynamics. As it turns out, iron plays a key role. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and collaborators have used lasers at the National Ignition Facility to experimentally determine the high-pressure melting curve and structural properties of pure iron up...

Lawrence Livermore makes Glassdoor’s 2022 ‘Best Places to Work’ list

Jan. 12, 2022- 
For the fourth consecutive year, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has been honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing the Best Places to Work in 2022. The Employees’ Choice Award, now in its 14th year, is based solely on the input of employees, who elect to provide anonymous feedback by completing a company review about their job, work environment and...

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 scientist honored as 2022 American Astronomical Society fellow

Jan. 7, 2022- 
LLNL physicist Richard Klein has been selected as a 2022 fellow of the American Astronomical Society. Klein, who was selected “for broad and influential contributions to computational astrophysics, for scientific achievements on radiatively-driven stellar winds and star formation theory and for training a generation of students and postdoctoral scholars,” is one of 23 members honored as...

New research looks at process of magnetic flux generation in ICF implosions

Oct. 27, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers now have a better understanding on how strong the magnetic fields are in an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) implosion at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s most energetic laser. The researchers described their findings a paper published in Physics of Plasmas with LLNL scientists Chris Walsh serving as lead author...

NNSA taps Dell Technologies to provide expanded computing resources for stockpile stewardship

Sept. 21, 2021- 
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE/NNSA’s) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced the awarding of a subcontract to Dell Technologies for additional supercomputing systems to support NNSA’s nuclear deterrent mission. In partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), the second...

Lawrence Livermore’s pressing operations with high explosives reach new milestones

Sept. 20, 2021- 
High explosive (HE) research, development, test and evaluation work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) continues to meet the needs of the nation on behalf of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). One specific effort is the HE pressing capability, which is a critical component of the LLNL’s national security mission. The scope of the Lab’s HE...

Diagnostic capability allows scientists to create X-ray movies

Sept. 1, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists are working on a new diagnostic capability that will provide, for the first time, the ability to make X-ray radiographic movies. The first experiment testing the principle, dubbed the Bipolar Reset Experiment (BIRX), was conducted at LLNL’s Flash X-Ray (FXR) deep-penetration radiographic facility at Site 300. The team has been...

Lawrence Livermore team captures data from unarmed Minuteman III test launch

Aug. 25, 2021- 
A team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) successfully collected data from the recent operational test of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base. The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the safety, security, effectiveness and readiness of the...

National Ignition Facility experiment puts researchers at threshold of fusion ignition

Aug. 18, 2021- 
On Aug. 8, 2021, an experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) made a significant step toward ignition, achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules (MJ). This advancement puts researchers at the threshold of fusion ignition, an important goal of the NIF, and opens access to a new experimental regime. The experiment was enabled by...

Researchers focus on how tantalum behaves at high pressure and temperature

Aug. 18, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have explored high-pressure behavior of shock-compressed tantalum at the Omega Laser Facility at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). The work showed tantalum did not follow the predicted phase changes at high pressure and instead maintained the body-centered cubic (BCC) phase until melt. The...

Bradley Wallin selected to lead Weapons and Complex Integration

Aug. 9, 2021- 
Bradley Wallin has been named Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) principal associate director (PAD) for Weapons and Complex Integration (WCI), Lab Director Kimberly Budil announced today. In this role, Wallin will lead the Laboratory's nuclear weapons program in its responsibilities to support U.S. strategic deterrence by assuring the safety, security and effectiveness...

Shining a Bright Light on Plutonium

Aug. 6, 2021- 
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 model weapon behavior but require accurate experimental...

Johnny Foster - Pushing the Boundaries of Science

Aug. 6, 2021- 
1953. Yucca Flat, Nevada. The devices weren’t working. Two high-profile tests of Livermore’s first nuclear weapon designs fizzled. Based on an idea promoted by pioneering physicist Edward Teller that was, among other things, supposed to reduce the required critical mass of uranium, the Ruth and Rae hydride devices were meant to revolutionize fission weapons design with their small size and...