Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory




Images of glassy fallout from an above-ground nuclear test.


Images of glassy fallout from an above-ground nuclear test.

Nuclear weapons represent one of the most immediate threats of mass destruction. In the event that a procured or developed nuclear weapon is detonated in a populated metropolitan area, timely and accurate fallout modeling would be needed to support post-detonation nuclear forensics and hazard assessments. Likewise, improving methods to constrain the time at which nuclear materials are manufactured and processed has potential to improve pre-detonation nuclear forensic efforts. On-going research projects in the Livermore Noble Gas Lab are aimed at (1) better understanding how hazardous radionuclides are geographically distributed following a nuclear detonation, to improve predictions of their distribution in the event of an urban detonation, and (2) determining the ages of uranium oxides, metals, and ores, to improve chronometric methods.