National Nuclear Security Administration

Meet a Machine: Explosive science is booming at Livermore Lab's Contained Firing Facility

July 28, 2016

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A key mission of the National Nuclear Security Administration is to maintain the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing. Data gathered from experiments at the Contained Firing Facility (CFF) help validate computer modeling about how the explosives and assemblies in nuclear weapons will behave. The CFF firing chamber is the largest indoor firing chamber in the world, used for large-scale experiments using high-explosives with full containment of hazardous materials. The facility provides a combination of capabilities, including wide-angle flash radiography, laser velocimetry, pin-dome measurements, and high-speed optical cameras that are used to measure dynamics during the experiments. The CFF is a key component of NNSA's national hydrodynamic test capabilities and plays an important role in evaluating weapons in the active stockpile.

A worker prepares for a test firing inside the Contained Firing Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.