Updated: June 29, 2020 06:58 PM
Created: June 29, 2020 05:34 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Scientists at Sandia National Labs have successfully hit another milestone in the bomb refurbishment program to extend the life of the B-61 bomb.
The B-61 nuclear bomb was originally developed in the 1960s. Since then, there have been 12 modifications to the weapon, with the newest version being called the B 61-12.
Scientists at Sandia National Labs have recently completed another step in refurbishment, showing that they are meeting nuclear safety and use control requirements.
Multiple physical tests were conducted on the bomb including impact tests, vibration, drops and extreme temperature tests.
These physical tests, in combination with computational analysis and field tests, ensure that the components, systems and warhead integration are safe and secure to prevent any unplanned detonations. It also ensures that the bombs will always work if the president authorizes them for use.
The bomb’s new design consolidates and replaces most of the previous parts to extend its service life by at least 20 years.
The National Nuclear Security Administration plans to produce the first unit of the B 61-12 in the 2022 fiscal year.
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