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Author Lawler, A.
Sponsorship USDOE
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE ♦ NUCLEAR WEAPONS ♦ STOCKPILES ♦ PERFORMANCE TESTING ♦ POLITICAL ASPECTS ♦ FINANCING ♦ COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION ♦ MANAGEMENT
Abstract Every few seconds, a mushroom cloud explodes on Paul Cunningham`s Computer screen. The unsettling image is a screen saver in the office of the chief of nuclear materials and stockpile management at Los Alamos National Laboratory - and a wry reminder of the radical changes underway at the three US weapons labs. Now that the US has renounced underground nuclear testing, simulations are becoming the weapons designers chief tool for ensuring that the nuclear arsenal is reliable. The new approach to testing, stockpile stewardship, has triggered a fierce debate within the defense community. At issue is how to keep a balance between financing such new and costly stewardship projects as the $1.1 billion National Ignition Facility, which will simulate the conditions of nuclear detonation, and maintaining a critical mass of experienced weapons designers. This artical describes the debate and funding and political problems which go with it.
ISSN 00368075
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1996-05-24
Publisher Place United States
Journal Science
Volume Number 272
Issue Number 5265


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