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...