Two US Labs Compete to Build New Nukes
June 14, 2006 6:24 AM
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The race is on!
The arms race during the Cold War featured the US and Soviet Union competing against one another to have a greater military force. It looks like another arms race, except on a much more relaxing level, is on again. The Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are competing to see which lab will be able to
construct the first new nuclear bomb
made in the United States in two decades. In 2005, the "reliable replacement warhead" program was started to try and replace aging, unreliable bombs. The new nuclear bomb has been under development for around a year in both labs.
The designs from both labs must have the same explosive power as existing warheads in the US arsenal. One of the goals of the contest is to have a new weapon that will not be as likely to accidentally detonate and one that will be much more secure than the weapons the US currently possesses. Each laboratory's plans will be presented to the Nuclear Weapons Council with the council choosing a winner before 2007.
Interestingly enough, LANL also recently put out an announcement that the national laboratory is accepting proposals for
the fastest supercomputer in the world
, capable of operating at one petaflop -- significantly more than even the fastest supercomputers are capable of today.
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RE: Business as usual
6/14/2006 5:48:15 PM
> "I personally lose no sleep over China having a handfull of nukes, or North Korea..."
No, you leave that job to others...and you'll be first in line screaming for their heads when those nukes are finally used. How utterly predictable.
Note I say "when", not if. It may not be China, or North Korea...but some nation, somewhere, will eventually launch a nuclear attack on the US. That much should be obvious from history. It may be five years or five hundred...but it will happen. You can't close Pandora's box.
> "Taking down half the state's wetlands for the sake of single family homes..."
This is something that really pushes my buttons. 150 years ago, nearly the entire state of Florida was a vast disease-ridden swamp, totally unfit for human habitation. Malaria-- virtually unheard of in the nation today-- was widespread and lethal to the state's miniscule population. This was all changed by one of the grandest and most succesful civil engineering projects in US history. The state-- which in 1860 contained nothing but a few small towns, became one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, with a thriving, booming economy. Malaria was wiped out, along with a dozen other tropical diseases.
Now, driven by the soft-headed group of environmentalists, the state is busily engaged in reversing much of those results. Yes, hard as it is to believe, Florida is actively converting millions of acres of useful land into unproductive, dangerous swamplands. And spending tens of billions of dollars of state and federal tax money to do so. All under the misguided notion that this "natural" state is more preferable.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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