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3 Author(s)
Crawford, D. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; McCoy, D. ; Nowak, D.

The aging of the nuclear weapons stockpile in the US, due to the end of the Cold War and a halt in design and production of new nuclear weapons, has brought demanding technical challenges to the US Department of Energy's nuclear weapons laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia National Laboratories. As stewards of the nation's nuclear deterrent, our mission is to maintain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile without further underground nuclear testing. This mission is an enormous undertaking, and the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) program has a critical role in meeting these challenges within the Science Based Stockpile Stewardship program. One of the ASCI program's major goals is to create the leading-edge computational modeling and simulation capabilities necessary to shift the nation from nuclear test based methods to simulation based methods. Enabling this shift is a major challenge, not only in that it changes the way we certify the performance, safety, security, and reliability of nuclear weapons, but also because we must establish high performance modeling and simulation as an essential technology for stockpile certification. This new certification paradigm means embracing a simulation based design and engineering approach, rather than using traditional design and test methods.

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 2 )