LANL Meets Plutonium Pit Production Goal
On August 17, Los Alamos National Laboratory's Plutonium Sustainment Program presented the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with the 29th—and final—plutonium pit for replacement in existing W88 warheads. The W88 is a thermonuclear weapon designed by LANL in the late 1980s for the U.S. Navy and deployed on Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Undeployed W88s are stored in the U.S. nuclear stockpile. The plutonium pit is the core of the W88. It initiates the weapon's nuclear chain reaction when imploded (explosively compressed) into a supercritical mass.