Los Alamos ASC Team Effectively Analyzes Radioactive Debris from Mock Nuclear Attack
The ASC Physics & Engineering Models Threat Reduction (ASC/TR) project supported a recent international National Technical Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) Exercise named “Opal Tiger.” The drill successfully tested the readiness of the US and UK laboratories to perform nuclear forensic analysis on collected material samples from the detonation of an unknown nuclear device. In the Opal Tiger scenario, the detonation occurred in the UK. Assessment of the radiochemical and prompt data provided by the Data Evaluation team at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the exercise encompassed the solution space for both the characteristics of the materials and the weapon type. This accurate weapons modeling assessment was enabled by new capabilities provided by the ASC Program for both the weapons physics code as well as the Forensics Inversion Tool Suite (FITS). The NNSA (including colleagues from LLNL) joined the FBI and the Defense Department, among others, in the Opal Tiger exercise.