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cover of July/August S&TR


The Laboratory in the News

National Security Is Our Unifying Theme
Commentary by C. Bruce Tarter

Annual Certification Takes a Snapshot of Stockpile's Health
The annual assessment of the stockpile is central to Livermore's mission and vital to national nuclear security.

Sensing for Danger
Networked sensors are getting smarter so they can better detect, track, and ward off a variety of threats.

It's the Pits in the Weapons Stockpile
Getting old is serious business for nuclear weapon pits.

Looking into the Shadow World
New software and better readiography are yielding higher-quality tomographs.

Patents and Awards


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  • Annual Certification Takes a Snapshot of Stockpile's Health
  • (pdf file, 2MB)
    Annual Certification is a formal assessment and reporting of the status of the nation’s stockpile of nuclear warheads and bombs. The first Annual Certification was completed in February 1997, and the sixth is under way. The process is based on thorough technical evaluations by staff at the Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia national laboratories; statements by their directors; and findings by the joint National Nuclear Security Administration/Department of Defense Project Officers Groups, the Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Command, and the Nuclear Weapons Council. Ultimately, the secretaries of Energy and Defense transmit a written memorandum to the president (a document that since 2000 has been classified by law) describing the safety and reliability of the stockpile and whether a resumption of nuclear testing is needed. Several other agencies, groups, and advisory panels also play important roles. As part of the Annual Certification process, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia/California experts prepare four reports that describe the status of the four nuclear weapons designed by the two laboratories: the W62, W84, and W87 warheads and the B83 bomb. The draft reports involve a comprehensive review of the Laboratory’s stockpile stewardship activities pertaining to each of the four weapon systems.

  • Sensing for Danger
  • (pdf file, 2MB)
    Intelligent and easily deployable sensor systems are important for many national security applications, particularly those relating to nonproliferation and tactical systems. Integrated networks of sensors have definite advantages over stand-alone detectors. At Livermore’s Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and International Security Directorate, researchers are developing the special data-integration algorithms, advanced communications architectures, and wireless microsensors that comprise correlated sensor networks. These networks can interpret large volumes of data in real time to look for a pattern of sensor “hits” that are diagnostic of the expected threat. The correlation algorithm provides substantially improved detection while keeping the false-alarm rate low.

  • It's the Pits in the Weapons Stockpile
  • (pdf file, 1MB)

  • Looking into the Shadow World
  • (pdf file, 1M)

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    UCRL-52000-01-7/8 | August 29, 2001