CHARLES MCMILLAN

picture of Charles McMillan

2010 has been an exceptional year for the Los Alamos nuclear weapons programs.

This year, President Obama requested a significant increase in funding—$624 million; if approved, a portion of the funds will be used to redress LANL's crumbly plutonium infrastructure, support the aging stockpile, and recruit a new generation of scientists and engineers. The administration unveiled the Nuclear Posture Review Report. Combined with the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the U.S., this development provides a solid policy foundation for nuclear deterrence.

In January, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos co-hosted the Strategic Weapons in the 21st Century meeting in D.C. The forum covered national security policy, defense programs, technical advances, international developments, and the impact of these issues on the nation's strategic weapons.

In April, the U.S. and Russia signed the New START to reduce the number of strategic warheads. Laboratory Director Anastasio appeared before the Senate and testified, "New START emphasizes the importance of the laboratory's mission and the need for a healthy and vibrant science, technology, and engineering base to be able to continue to assure the stockpile into the future."

LANL hosted a number of distinguished visitors, including, Secretary of Defense Gates, the commander of STRATCOM, six members of the U.S. Senate, and several members of the House. The visitors were briefed on B61 work, pit manufacturing, actinide science, and nonproliferation activities. Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Cook noted this is an "exceptional time." Cook proclaimed that Los Alamos continues to play a vital role in a national-security duality that involves modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent and ensuring effective arms control. Cook also said renewing human talent is vital. He presented NNSA's Defense Programs Awards of excellence to staff members from across the laboratory.

In July, Los Alamos scientists won five R&D 100 Awards, bringing the lab's total to 117. Our winning technologies span x-ray science, safer explosives, semiconductors, and biofuels. Capturing transient events is essential in science, especially the science of nuclear weapons and energetic materials. The MOXIE camera system reveals the behavior of explosives and pressure waves.

After last year's shots, our Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test facility completed three more tests this year. The tests provided superior-quality material radiographs. The first phase of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility Replacement project was completed with the Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building. We are nearing completion of work on W88 WR pits. Early September brought the first installment of Cielo, our newest capability-platform supercomputer.

In closing, I would like to thank my colleagues at LANL. Our success would not have been possible without your commitment and pursuit of excellence in support of our nation.

Charles McMillan's signature

Charles McMillan,
Principal Associate Director Weapons Program

 

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