Experimental Advances

Advance LANL’s experimental characterization tools in conjunction with our computational advances to underwrite stockpile assessment without the need for a nuclear test.


  1. By 2030, develop the capability to underwrite the certification of a new weapon system with the radiographic and reactivity capabilities of the Enhanced Capabilities for Subcritical Experiments project and validated 3D calculations. Develop an alternative first experiment on ECSE.
  2. Advance our understanding of static and dynamic mesoscale material science at existing light sources and accelerators to impact annual assessments. Provide leadership for upgrades to the Advanced Photon Source and Linac Coherent Light Source-Materials in Extreme Conditions to enable critical mesoscale materials science measurements.
  3. Establish and sustain leading roles in high-energy density experimental design and analysis.
  4. Develop and apply fundamental and empirical tools that improve the characterization of high explosives (HE) in full weapons STS regimes.
  5. Deliver the accelerator-related project for Enhanced Capabilities for Subcritical Experiments (ECSE) by 2027.
  6. Deliver Plutonium Proton Radiography at pRAD by 2024, which requires execution of upgrades to the facility, operations, and readiness support to field the first experiment.
  7. Achieve CD-0 for Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) Modernization (LAMP) in 2023 and CD-1 in 2024 with nominal CD-2/3 in 2027. Develop concept for codesign of a proton storage ring replacement for consideration as part of LAMP. Pursue other LANSCE enhancements to sustain the required capabilities.
  8. Develop strategy and plan to expand the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Facility Capability needed to provide a growing need for this essential data.
  9. Establish and sustain LANL’s leading role as the NNSA Accelerator Laboratory, aligning investments in LDRD, staffing, equipment, and infrastructure with LANL’s Accelerator Strategy.
  10. Deliver Level 1 milestone on Advanced Understanding of Primary Performance for Aging in 2025.
  11. Deliver Level 1 milestone for Alternative Materials in 2027 to support advanced qualification of replacement materials for canned subassemblies and other components in support of technology maturation and stockpile modernization.

primary Strategic Objectives

Technical Leadership - Deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs to advance relevant research frontiers and anticipate emerging national security risks.

Nuclear Deterrent - Lead the nation in evaluating, developing, and ensuring effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent, including the design, production, and certification of current and future nuclear weapons.

secondary Strategic Objective

Threat Reduction - Anticipate persistent and emerging threats to global security; develop and deploy revolutionary tools to detect, deter, and respond proactively.