"The first-ever shot to study a high explosive sample was recently conducted at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s most energetic laser. The results from the shot included novel data that will help researchers unlock the mysteries of high-explosive (HE) chemistry and position Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to continue its legacy as a leader in HE science and diagnostic innovation. . . . "
A New START treaty is set to expire in February, making new negotiations critical.
By Terry Alan Lane
December 1 , 2020
" “There is significant uncertainty on the future of the treaty,” said Madelyn Creedon, who served as the principal deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration in the administration of former President Barack Obama.
One point Trump pushed in negotiations was to bring China into the treaty, which operates its own “triad” of nuclear weapons. However, China resisted joining the negotiations, Creedon said, as their nuclear arsenal, totaling about 300 weapons, is much smaller than either the U.S. or Russian arsenals.
“China is a separate issue,” Creedon said, arguing that trying to include China in the New START treaty could derail the overall negotiations. “The U.S. and Russia have 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. At the least, we must get the caps that exist in the New START treaty extended.” . . . "
Real Clear Defense
By Steve Cimbala & Adam Lowther
January 7, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden recently indicated that he would review the nation’s nuclear deterrence strategy and weapons modernization program, focusing on reducing their role in national strategy. The review will also look to reduce funding for nuclear modernization. Depending on the administration's actions, there is a real risk of compromising the credibility of American deterrence when both China and Russia see the United States as a weakened great power. . . .
By Dan Leone
January 8, 2021
The commander of U.S. nuclear forces, who met with President-elect Joe Biden’s (D) transition team recently, worried this week that the civilian nuclear weapons complex faces problems bigger than a potential slip in plutonium-pit production. . . .
Sandia National Laboratory
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has named a new deputy labs director to lead its nuclear deterrence programs as part of a reorganization that supports the labs’ continued excellence in assuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Laura McGill, who joins Sandia after more than 30 years in the defense industry, begins her roles as deputy laboratories director and chief technology officer for nuclear deterrence today.
The Heritage Foundation
By Patty-Jane Geller
January 6, 2021
As part of its effort to modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent, the United States is developing the Long-Range Standoff weapon (LRSO) to maintain the ability of nuclear-capable bombers to hold targets in well-defended areas at risk. The LRSO will replace the AGM-86B, which has been in service since 1982 and is becoming increasingly obsolete against enemy air defenses. The LRSO will play an important role in maintaining the nuclear triad because it will sustain the nuclear capability that enables the triad’s critical air leg. The LRSO will also contribute to both the credibility of U.S. deterrence and the United States’ extended deterrence commitments to allies and provide a hedge against both technical failure as well as an uncertain geopolitical environment. . . .
By Loren Thompson, Senior Contributor
January 5, 2021
President-elect Biden has signaled that his administration will review the U.S. nuclear posture with an eye to revitalizing strategic arms control negotiations and potentially reducing the number of weapons in the arsenal.
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By LOLITA C. BALDOR
December 10, 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a new show of military might, two American bomber aircraft flew from the United States to the Middle East on Thursday, in a round-trip mission that U.S. officials said covered a wide swath of the region and was a direct message of deterrence to Iran.
By Daniel Clery
November 23, 2020
In October 2010, in a building the size of three U.S. football fields, researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory powered up 192 laser beams, focused their energy into a pulse with the punch of a speeding truck, and fired it at a pellet of nuclear fuel the size of a peppercorn. So began a campaign by the National Ignition Facility (NIF) to achieve the goal it is named for: igniting a fusion reaction that produces more energy than the laser puts in. . . .