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ASCI White-the 10-teraops supercomputer developed by IBM for Lawrence Livermore and due to come online in the summer of 2000-is the latest in a series of ultrahigh-speed computers built for the Department of Energy's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI). A key component of the DOE's Stockpile Stewardship Program, ASCI has the goal of providing the computational tools needed for running full-scale simulations of nuclear weapons by 2004. Weapon scientists will use these simulations, archived nuclear test data, and nonnuclear experiments to ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of U.S. nuclear weapons. ASCI White is the direct descendant of the ASCI Blue Pacific, a 3-teraops machine. Over the past year, Blue Pacific has successfully run a variety of unprecedented three-dimensional simulations, including the first-ever three-dimensional simulation of an exploding nuclear weapon primary and an award-winning turbulence simulation. Through DOE's Academic Strategic Program Alliance, universities have also used Blue Pacific to research unclassified problems applicable to ASCI research, including the physics of supernovas and fire.
The elements from actinium (element 89) to lawrencium (element 103) are known as the actinides. All of the actinides are metals, and all are radioactive. More complete information on actinides is needed to better assess the nation's nuclear stockpile, help stem the clandestine proliferation of nuclear weapons, and gain a better understanding of the use and storage of nuclear fuels such as enriched uranium. A major research focus is on obtaining a better scientific understanding of plutonium, the most complex and perplexing element in the periodic table. The Lawrence Livermore chapter of the University of California's Glenn T. Seaborg Institute for Transactinium Science is attempting to attract and train the next generation of actinide scientists.
and LLNL Disclaimers