Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Nuclear Weapons

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Propelling wind energy innovation

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Motivated by the need to eliminate expensive rare-earth magnets in utility-scale direct-drive wind turbines, Sandia National Laboratories researchers developed a fundamentally new type of rotary electrical contact. Sandia is now ready to partner with the renewable energy industry to develop the next generation of direct-drive wind turbines. Sandia’s Twistact technology takes a […]

Sandia researchers receive two EO Lawrence Awards

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories pulsed-power physicist Daniel Sinars and quantum information scientist Andrew Landahl have each received 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Awards, the U.S. Department of Energy’s highest scientific mid-career honor. Sinars won in the category “National Security and Nonproliferation;” Landahl in “Computer, Information and Knowledge Sciences.” Susan Seestrom, associate laboratories director for […]

Sandia weapons systems engineering director honored by NNSA, Air Force and Navy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jim Handrock, Sandia National Laboratories’ director of New Mexico weapons systems engineering, received a series of awards and commendations from the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Air Force and Navy recognizing his leadership, expertise and service to the nation during a celebration at Sandia on May 4. The celebration, held on Kirtland […]

Guangping Xu employs a digital optical microscope

Seashell-inspired Sandia shield protects materials in hostile environments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Word of an extraordinarily inexpensive material, lightweight enough to protect satellites against debris in the cold of outer space, cohesive enough to strengthen the walls of pressurized vessels experiencing average conditions on Earth and yet heat-resistant enough at 1,500 degrees Celsius or 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit to shield instruments against flying debris, raises […]

Major milestone for B61-12 life extension program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories marked a major milestone when the Nuclear Security Enterprise successfully produced the first completely refurbished bomb for the B61-12 life extension program in November 2021. “This is the first complete unit built with nuclear and non-nuclear components that has been fully qualified from the ground up,” said David Wiegandt, […]

Launch Photo

Major upgrade to HOT Shot rocket program culminates in successful launch

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories announced that a major upgrade to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s HOT Shot sounding rocket program culminated in a successful launch on Saturday at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. HOT Shot, short for High Operational Tempo Shot, collects scientific data that benefits aerospace research and informs future […]

Drop test for W88 Alt 370

With redesigned ‘brains,’ W88 nuclear warhead reaches milestone

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories and its nuclear security enterprise partners recently completed the first production unit of a weapon assembly responsible for key operations of the W88 nuclear warhead. “The arming, fuzing and firing assembly is the brains of the warhead,” said Dolores Sanchez,  senior manager of the W88 Alteration 370 for Sandia. […]

Nuclear weapons testing photo.

New weapons testing capability produces richer data, saves time, cost

LIVERMORE, Calif. — A team of Sandia National Laboratories engineers developed a new testing capability in support of its nuclear weapons mission. The team completed their first combined-environments test on a full-scale weapons system at the Sandia Superfuge/Centrifuge complex in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In a successful test, weapons engineers simulated three environments — acceleration, vibration […]

Setting gold and platinum standards where few have gone before

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Like two superheroes finally joining forces, Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine — generator of the world’s most powerful electrical pulses — and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility — the planet’s most energetic laser source — in a series of 10 experiments have detailed the responses of gold and platinum at […]

EIML Bo Song

Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab at Sandia bars none

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s a tiny hidden gem at Sandia National Laboratories that tests the strength and evaluates the impact properties of any solid natural or manmade material on the planet. From its humble beginnings as a small storage room, mechanical engineer Bo Song has built a singular Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab that packs a […]

Laura McGill, Sandia deputy labs director

Sandia names new leader of nuclear deterrence programs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has named a new deputy labs director to lead its nuclear deterrence programs as part of a reorganization that supports the labs’ continued excellence in assuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Laura McGill, who joins Sandia after more than 30 years in the defense […]

Rodney Wilson

Global security and cooperation leader recognized by NNSA for leadership, service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rodney Wilson, former director of Sandia’s Center for Global Security and Cooperation, received the National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator’s Distinguished Service Gold Award in recognition of his leadership and service to advance NNSA programs. The plaque, signed by former Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, recognized Wilson’s contributions to programs focused on improving the […]

An F-35A drops a B61-12 over Sandia

Flight tests to show B61-12 will work on Air Force’s newest fighter jet

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A mock B61-12’s strike in the dusty Nevada desert successfully completed the first in a series of flight tests with the U.S. Air Force’s newest fighter jet, demonstrating the bomb’s first release from an internal bomb bay at greater than the speed of sound. The flight test of the B61-12 with the […]

F-35A fighter jet in flight

Virtual support from Sandia enabled B61-12 flight test on F-35A jet fighter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Overcoming COVID-19 pandemic challenges through virtual means, teams from Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Air Force under the guidance of the National Nuclear Security Administration performed a critical B61-12 flight test aboard the F-35A Lightning II jet fighter. The flight test at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert took […]

Record neutron numbers at Sandia Labs’ Z machine fusion experiments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— A relatively new method to control nuclear fusion that combines a massive jolt of electricity with strong magnetic fields and a powerful laser beam has achieved its own record output of neutrons — a key standard by which fusion efforts are judged — at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z pulsed power facility, the most […]

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