Threat Response

Develop and deploy technical solutions supporting future nonproliferation, counterproliferation, and counter-terrorism strategies.

LANL uses its broad capabilities in national security to support the Nation in strategies and technology options for nonproliferation, counterproliferation, and counterterrorism.

This Critical Outcome focuses on nurturing and growing capabilities needed to support these missions today and into the future. This Critical Outcome supports all four of the Strategic Objectives in accomplishing the Laboratory mission: Nuclear Deterrence, Trustworthy Operations, Technical Leadership, and Trustworthy Operations. This Critical Outcome also leverages Signature Institutional Commitments in strategic deterrence and dynamic imaging.

In FY23, we deployed ground-based electromagnetic pulse sensors to Ukraine, trained Ukrainian forces in nuclear forensic sample collection, hosted and participated in two multi-laboratory exercises supporting the Mobile Plutonium Facility, procured two HPC systems (Rendija and Tularosa) in support of nuclear intelligence and nuclear threat science missions, qualified Global Burst Detector design for GPS IIIF satellites, and successfully executed multiple nuclear test detection campaigns (e.g., low-yield nuclear monitoring PE1 HE emplacement and Vulcan CALDERA 2).

In FY24, we will build on these successes through 11 Supporting Initiatives.

Supporting Initiatives

  1. Develop and field tools in support of nuclear emergency response and counter-terrorism efforts. Develop new capabilities for transition into operations within three years. Advance high-fidelity defeat diagnostics by creating a state-of-the-art radiographic facility for full-scale experimentation and validation.
  2. Develop innovative technologies and methods to further national counter-proliferation goals. Provide mature solutions to FY24 challenge problems.
  3. By the end of FY24, develop, communicate, and publish an integrated nuclear forensics strategy that aligns Laboratory investments and capability development with National policy, as defined in the National Security Presidential Memorandum 35 National Technical Nuclear Forensics, and in the Nuclear Forensics Attribution Strategic Plan.
  4. Install Hail and Lysander HPC replacements (Rendija and Tularosa) and secure authority to operate at the appropriate classification levels.
  5. Reinvigorate LANL’s arms control capability and explore the role and meaning of arms control in the 21st century.
  6. Enhance capability to detect underground low-yield evasive tests through successful execution of NA-22 nuclear test detection ventures.
  7. Enhance capabilities to detect foreign weapons development through successful execution of NA-22 weapons device manufacturing and testing ventures.
  8. Carry out first-phase renovations and infrastructure improvements for PluS Lab and develop proposal for broader plutonium science investment for nonproliferation (Harmonia).
  9. Support measures to demonstrate transparency in the US nuclear security enterprise, including the design, deployment, and testing of candidate capabilities to monitor subcritical experiments. Validate that these new technologies provide the requisite validation without revealing classified information.
  10. Enhance contributions to international nuclear safeguards through technology development and training activities.
  11. Fabricate, test, and deliver first three modernized nuclear detonation detection payloads for future GPS-IIIF satellites.

primary Strategic Objectives

Trustworthy Operations - Consistently demonstrate and be recognized by diverse stakeholders for trusted and trustworthy operations.

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

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

secondary Strategic Objective

Nuclear Deterrence - 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.