Nuclear Nonproliferation JOINT)

Event Date: November 18, 2015
Speaker: J. Bradley Beck
Speaker Affiliation: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: WTHR 200
Priority: No

Stockpile Stewardship at Los Alamos (U)

Dr. J. Bradley Beck

National Security Office Program Manager

Los Alamos National Laboratory

 

 

On September 23, 1992, the United States conducted the last nuclear test to date, Divider.  With the ending of the Cold War and the cessation of nuclear testing, the nuclear weapons program found itself in an uncertain position over how to perform the critical mission of supporting the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile.  Historically, the nation’s nuclear weapon laboratories would design new weapons, test the weapons (including nuclear tests), and then deploy them on military platforms.  With the cessation of nuclear testing, a new methodology was needed to continuously assess the performance and reliability of the nuclear stockpile.   

 

From this need, the Stockpile Stewardship Program was created to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of nuclear explosive testing.  In the mid-1990s, the United States embarked on a program to increase the scientific understanding of the physics of how nuclear weapons operate and how they age.  To accomplish this mission, the Stockpile Stewardship Program relies on advanced scientific experimental facilities (such as the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility at LANL) and world-leading computational capabilities (Such as the Trinity Supercomputer, which is designed to deliver over 40 peak Petaflop/s performance), coupled with advanced physics-based computational codes utilizing improved theoretical models.  In this presentation, Dr. Beck will discuss the Stockpile Stewardship Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory and how this scientific-based program has been and continues to be achieved.  Additionally, Dr. Beck will discuss some of the other national security mission areas at LANL and discuss some of the current nuclear policy issues and the challenges that remain.  

 

Bio:

Dr. J. Bradley Beck is a Program Manager in the National Security Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, NM.  Dr. Beck’s has worked at LANL for over 22 years in a variety of roles:  Dr. Beck first worked in the Inertial Confinement Group; followed by the Thermonuclear Applications Group; the Primary Physics Design Group; and in the National Security Office.  From 2000 through 2005, Dr. Beck served as the Deputy Group Leader for the Thermonuclear Applications Group.  After a temporary assignment to the Advanced Simulation and Computing office in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA; Department of Energy), Dr. Beck was named Deputy Group Leader for the Primary Physics Design Group, and further served as the group leader for the weapons design group I in the time period from 2005 through 2010.  During this period of time, Dr. Beck was one of the LANL co-leads for the Plutonium Pit Lifetime assessment and also had responsibility for the staff that designed the Reliable Replacement Warhead primary.  In 2011, Dr. Beck joined the National Security Office that serves as an interface between nuclear weapons policy experts and the technical experts at LANL.

2015-11-18 15:30:00 2015-11-18 16:30:00 America/New_York Nuclear Nonproliferation JOINT) WTHR 200