Livermore gets nod to update H-bomb

Scientists at lab will design warhead for new generation of nuclear weapons pushed by the Bush administration.

Ian Hoffman in Contra Costa Times:

Hbomb2Bush administration officials on Friday picked Lawrence Livermore Laboratory nuclear weapons scientists to design the first new H-bomb in two decades

The decision marked the biggest step yet toward a plan for wholesale replacement of the fully tested U.S. nuclear arsenal with bombs and warheads for the same military missions but redesigned for greater hardiness, safety and security.

For the first “reliable, replacement warhead” _– designated RRW1 — federal weapons officials chose a highly conservative design produced by a team at Lawrence and Sandia/California National laboratories over a more freewheeling design offered by Los Alamos lab and Sandia labs in New Mexico.

The warhead would replace the most numerous nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal, the W76 that rides atop missiles on submarines in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

More here.