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Jan-Feb Cover

March 2001

The Laboratory in the News

Safety and Security Are Enhanced by Understanding Plutonium
Commentary by Michael Anastasio

Inside the Superblock
This area of Lawrence Livermore is home to one of just two U.S. plutonium research and development facilities for defense.

Exploring the Fundamental Limits of Simulation
Some of the nation's leading computer simulation experts gathered at Lawrence Livermore to discuss the common barriers facing their craft.

Plutonium Up Close . . . Way Close
An examination of stockpile plutonium at the atomic level indicates "so far, so good."

Shocked and Stressed, Metals Get Stronger
Laser peening yields stronger, corrosion-resistant metals.

Patents and Awards




















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  • Inside the Superblock
  • (pdf file, 4.1MB)
    Livermore's Superblock is home to one of only two defense plutonium research and development facilities in the U.S. Research on uranium and tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, is also undertaken here, albeit to a lesser extent. In the Superblock facilities, the Nuclear Materials Technology Program has the capability to handle all phases of virtually any project related to these materials. Today, much work there is related to the stewardship of our nation's arsenal of nuclear weapons. Experiments in the Superblock are key to the annual process of certifying the safety and reliability of the nuclear stockpile. Livermore is also leading the research and development of safe ways to dispose of surplus plutonium from the Cold War.

  • Exploring the Fundamental Limits of Simulations
  • (pdf file, 4.1MB)
    Computer simulation has become an important tool in scientific and engineering research, especially at national research centers such as Lawrence Livermore. The growing use and influence of simulations, however, has raised important questions about its limitations. Last October, some 60 of the nation's leading simulation experts gathered at Livermore to discuss the wide range of barriers facing advanced computer simulations. Several basic issues, from computer architecture to software challenges, arose from the workshop that crossed major disciplines. The workshop was so successful that plans are under way for a number of future meetings.

  • Plutonium Up Close . . . Way Close
  • (pdf file, 1.5MB)

  • Shocked and Stressed, Metals Get Stronger
  • (pdf file, 1MB)

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    UCRL-52000-01-3 | March 26, 2001