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A CT scanner to image nuclear weapons components

Narrator:       This is Science Today. A new CT scanner that can image nuclear weapon components has been developed by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy. Patrick Allen, deputy program manager of the Lab's Enhanced Surveillance Program, explains that from time to time, the weapons components that are in the U.S. stockpile, need to be checked.

Allen:  We need to take a sample and look at it to confirm, validate the structure. We call it surveillance where we pull random units and we look once or twice a year for a particular unit to see whether the component is healthy from the time it was manufactured, which at this point, maybe it was thirty years ago, or if there were some things that changed over time.

Narrator:       The super high energy CT scanner, called CoLOSSIS, is capable of detecting aging defects on critical components in a non-destructive manner, down to a couple thousandths of an inch. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.