Sandia Labs News Releases

Tag Archives: nuclear weapons

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Expanding testing capacity for Sandia weapons modernization programs

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy’s under secretary for nuclear security, joined Sandia National Laboratories Deputy Labs Director Dori Ellis and other Sandia leaders today for a tour of the newest facility in nuclear weapons systems engineering at Sandia’s California site — the Sandia […]

Sandia weapons program meets safety, design requirements

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has successfully completed another milestone in the B61-12 gravity bomb refurbishment program, demonstrating the labs is meeting important nuclear safety and use-control requirements. “The Combined Engineering Judgment is an important step toward ensuring the B61-12 Life Extension Program is on track, and Sandia is meeting design and development requirements […]

Sandia initiatives to protect US energy grid and nuclear weapons systems

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — To deter attempts to disable U.S. electrical utilities and to defend U.S. nuclear weapon systems from evolving technological threats, Sandia National Laboratories has begun two multiyear initiatives to strengthen U.S. responses. One is focused on defending large U.S. electrical utility systems from potential attacks by hostile nations, as well as from damage […]

Blast tube tests at Sandia simulate shock wave conditions nuclear weapons could face

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — You can learn a lot from a blast tube. You can learn more when you couple blast experiments with computer modeling. Sandia National Laboratories researchers are using a blast tube configurable to 120 feet to demonstrate how well nuclear weapons could survive the shock wave of a blast from an enemy weapon […]

Sandia computer modeling aids solder reliability in nuclear weapons

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Solder isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as essential to a nuclear weapon. But since weapons contain hundreds of thousands of solder joints, each potentially a point of failure, Sandia National Laboratories has developed and refined computer models to predict their performance and reliability. “Computational modeling of solder joint fatigue […]

Three Sandia engineers recognized for contributions to advancing women in STEM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three Sandia National Laboratories engineers have been recognized by the Society of Women Engineers as part of its annual awards program for their support in the enrichment and advancement of women in engineering. Janet Williams won the Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes members who have made significant contributions to SWE for at […]

Drop of mock B61-12 is first of new flight tests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — From a distance, the drop of a mock nuclear weapon — containing only non-nuclear components — was a mere puff of dust rising from a dry lake bed at Nevada’s Tonopah Test Range. However, it marked the start of a new series of test flights vital to the nation’s B61-12 weapon refurbishment […]

Evaluating nuclear weapons: Sandia Labs taking a modern approach

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is transforming how it assesses nuclear weapons in a stockpile made up of weapons at different stages in their lifecycles — some systems that have existed for decades alongside those that have undergone life extension programs. Back when the United States was developing new nuclear weapon systems, weapons typically […]

‘Cold War Warriors:’ Sandia’s decades in nuclear weapons

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories video producer Myra Buteau swept a hand toward the top shelf of a bookcase stuffed with black cases of high-definition tapes. The biggest challenge in telling the story of Sandia’s years of above-ground and underground nuclear weapon field tests, she said, was condensing the 100 hours of interviews on […]

W80-4: Sandia California works on nuclear weapon Life Extension Program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is doing what it hasn’t done in decades: extending the life of a nuclear warhead at the same time the U.S. Air Force develops a replacement cruise missile that will carry the weapon. The goal of the W80-4 Life Extension Program (LEP) is refurbishing the W80 warhead with replacement […]

Hardware from old nuclear weapons systems becomes valuable teaching resource

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is preserving the history of nuclear weapons in hardware developed since the start of the nuclear era as a way to connect new generations of weapons engineers to the engineering work of past generations. “Tremendous amounts of knowledge are represented by this hardware, and being able to pick up […]

Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Sandia’s new vibration table promises different ways of testing ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It took decades for technology to catch up with the math David Smallwood worked out to control vibration table shakers. Smallwood, a retired Sandia National Laboratories researcher who consults at the labs, knew that shaking in all directions at once was the key […]