'Criticality' experiments enhance nuclear safety, security and effectiveness

Gathered in a control room deep in the Nevada desert, a team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories watched safety monitors as a carefully layered stack of plutonium inched toward “critical” – the point at which fissile material can sustain a nuclear chain reaction. It took five years of planning, calculations and preparatory experiments, but they had successfully conducted the first LLNL-designed critical experiment in 40 years. …read more