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The shelf life of a nuclear weapon was not an issue until the early 1990s when the U.S. stopped developing and testing nuclear weapons. Existing weapons are expected to remain operational for several decades beyond their originally designed lifetime. Livermore is studying the aging processes of the many materials that make up a nuclear weapon, such as high explosives, metals, and organic materials, with the goal of developing models that predict the lifetime of individual materials as well as of the entire weapon system. Some experiments are examining the fundamental nature of the materials, while others are studying weapons taken from the stockpile to see how aging is progressing. The process of compiling this data into predictive models is just beginning.
and LLNL Disclaimers