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At nuclear materials storage facilities, weapons laboratories, remote customs sites, and airports and seaports across Russia and the other newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, Livermore employees are helping to make nuclear materials and weapons know-how more secure. Livermore's Russian programs are concentrated in the Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and International Security Directorate, specifically its Proliferation Prevention and Arms Control program. Russian programs have two thrusts. The first is enhancing the protection, control, and accounting of weapons-usable nuclear materials. The second is helping to find nonweapons job opportunities for the former Soviet weapons scientists. The overall effort draws upon a wide range of Laboratory strengths, including nuclear materials characterization, radiation detection, forensic science, computer simulation, site security, and weapons physics, design, testing, and dismantlement.
Livermore's gas guns create shock waves that may be millions of times atmospheric pressure at the surface of Earth. Experiments with powerful shock waves were originally designed to help researchers understand how materials in nuclear and conventional weapons respond during detonation. Now, under the Department of Energy's Stockpile Stewardship Program, researchers must be able to not only model but also predict the behavior and performance of stockpiled weapons. This mission requires a basic understanding of the behavior of a variety of materials. Of particular interest is developing the capability to accurately measure temperature in materials at extremely high pressures, which requires new experimental capabilities and approaches. Other experiments are duplicating, for a brief moment, the extreme pressures inside Earth and the giant planets of our solar system. Over the course of this work, Livermore has produced some of the first quantum molecular dynamic models of materials under shock conditions. In 2001, the Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research (JASPER) facility will come on line at the Nevada Test Site, allowing scientists to study uranium, plutonium, and other actinide materials under shock conditions.
and LLNL Disclaimers