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The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories (2013)

Chapter: Appendix C: Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings." National Research Council. 2013. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18440.
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C

Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings

TOPICS DISCUSSED AT LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY

• Materials at extreme conditions

— Condensed matter

— Materials activities

• Radiation transport

• High energy density science

— Warm dense matter

— Dense plasmas

• Materials physics and chemistry and engineering issues

• Computation, computer science, modeling and simulation

— Current codes

▪ Current physics and algorithms

— Verification and validation approaches and results

— Career issues

▪ Early career and post-docs

▪ Students

— New physics under development for production

— New algorithms under development for production

— Computing requirements and out year plans

TOPICS DISCUSSED AT SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES

• Radiation effects and high energy density science

• Materials science, and nanodevices and microsystems

• Engineering sciences, and computer and information science

• Major facilities for nuclear weapons research

• MESA, Z-Pinch and environmental test facilities

• Weapons engineering and product realization

• Systems engineering and stockpile modernization overview

• Plutonium aging

• Weapons aging – annual assessment

• Advanced systems and the 120 day study

• LDRD program overview: LDRD impact on NW mission

• Weapons engineering and product realization

• Computation, computer science, modeling and simulation

— Impact of advanced computing at Sandia on national security

— Sandia’s vision and strategy for computing science

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings." National Research Council. 2013. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18440.
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— Production software and computer science research

— Verification, validation and uncertainty quantification

— Early career staff and post-docs

— Computer and information sciences/materials sciences, engineering science

— Physical models for research to impact

• Poster session topics

— Exploring formal verification methodology for FPGA-based digital systems

— New coatings for MEMS-based sensors for enhanced surveillance

— Nonresonant broadband funneling of light via ultrasubwavelength channels

— Use of limited data to construct Bayesian networks for probabilistic risk assessment

— Richtymer-Meshkov instabilities in cylindrical and planar geometries on Z

— Using magnetic fields to create and control high energy density matter

— Development of ab initio techniques critical for science-based explosives research and development

TOPICS DISCUSSED AT LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY

• Materials physics and chemistry, and engineering issues

• Materials at extreme conditions

— Condensed matter

— Materials activities

• High energy density science

— Warm dense matter

— Dense plasmas

• Radiation hydrodynamics

• Weapon design topics

— Life extension programs

— Improvised nuclear devices assessment

— Nuclear weapons leadership

— Internal metrics and quality

— Connections to basic science

— PMP, PVS, Safety Suite, and Advanced Simulation and Computing

— National Boost Initiative

— Workforce issues

▪ Special topics for junior designers

• Computation, computer science, modeling and simulation

— Mod/sim overview

— Design codes

— Science codes

— Verification and validation

— Requirements/plans

— Design codes

▪ Verification and validation

— Science codes

— Advanced algorithms, advanced architectures

— Post-docs and early career S&Es

• Poster session topics

— Optical temperature diagnostics for flames and detonation events

— A new approach in dynamic compression equation of state

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings." National Research Council. 2013. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18440.
×

— Measurements utilizing transparent crystals

— Small-scale experiments for predicting and validating thermal explosion phenomena

— Development of a many-body semi-empirical local basis set approach for materials under extreme conditions

— How shocks change the hydrodynamic mixing of inertial confinement fusion capsules

— HYDRA simulations of recent collisionless shock

— Experiments performed on OMEGA

— Measuring the 239Pu(n,f)/235U(n,f) cross section ratio with the NIFFTE time projection chamber

— Measuring the alpha to spontaneous fission decay

— Branching ration of 252Cf with a time projection chamber

— Direct numerical simulations of structure and transport in dense plasmas

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings." National Research Council. 2013. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18440.
×
Page 57
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings." National Research Council. 2013. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18440.
×
Page 58
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings." National Research Council. 2013. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18440.
×
Page 59
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The three National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) national security laboratories--Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)--are a major component of the U.S. government's laboratory complex and of the national science and technology base. These laboratories are large, diverse, highly respected institutions with broad programs in basic sciences, applied sciences, technology development, and engineering; and they are home to world-class staff and facilities. Under a recent interagency agreement between the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence community, they are evolving to serve the needs of the broad national security community. Despite this broadening of substance and support, these laboratories remain the unique locus of science and engineering (S&E) for the U.S. nuclear weapons program, including, most significantly, the science-based stockpile stewardship program and the S&E basis for analyzing and understanding nuclear weapon developments of other nations and non-state actors. The National Research Council (NRC) was asked by Congress to assess the quality of S&E and the management of S&E at these three laboratories.

The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories is the second of two reports produced as part of this study. This report assesses the quality of S&E in terms of the capability of the laboratories to perform the necessary tasks to execute the laboratories' missions, both at present and in the future. The report identifies the following as four basic pillars of stockpile stewardship and non-proliferation analysis: (1) the weapons design; (2) systems engineering and understanding of the effects of aging on system performance; (3) weapons science base; and (4) modeling and simulation, which provides a capability to integrate theory, experimental data, and system design.

The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories offers a snapshot of the present with an eye to the future. This report discusses the current state of S&E and makes recommendations to maintain robust programs.

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