Physicists studying film of nuclear bomb tests | KOB 4

Physicists studying film of nuclear bomb tests

Ryan Laughlin
July 19, 2018 06:48 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Film from the decades-old nuclear tests are being restored, saved and studied by nuclear physicists, in hopes of better understanding the power of the bombs.


“The United States stopped testing nuclear weapons in 1992,” said Greg Spriggs a nuclear physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. “Now we do everything with computer code simulations. But, a computer code simulation can be faulty. You have to verify that code is giving you the right answer.”

Spriggs said there are around 10,000 uncovered films, a majority of them are at the Los Alamos National Laboratories. Many have yet to be released.

“It is a pretty exciting project here. And we are looking at this almost like the tests were done yesterday, and this is kind of new data that's being supplied to the nuclear weapon complex,” Spriggs said.

Spriggs said some of the conclusions from decades ago overestimated the strength of the nukes, some by as much as 30 percent.

A spokesperson for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories said, “The data from these films will help our scientists ensure that the aging U.S. stockpile remains safe, secure and effective without having to go back to explosive nuclear testing.”

Spriggs said Los Alamos National Laboratory is working on restoring and studying around 6,500 old nuclear test films and he expects them to publish those videos once their research is complete.


Ryan Laughlin

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