Narrator: This is Science Today. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Security Administration has completed the installation and successful startup of a new diagnostic tool that can detect aging defects on critical components of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. Patrick Allen, deputy program manager of the Enhanced Surveillance Program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was part of the development team.
Allen: The U.S. nuclear stockpile has gone down in numbers. We're disposing of older parts, so the ones that we have out that we are interested in maintaining and certifying year after year, it would be really good if we could have a tool to analyze them and certify without tearing them apart or destroying them, melting and cutting the metal apart, cutting into the component.
Narrator: Instead, their imaging system, called CoLOSSIS, works very much like a CT scanner at the hospital.
Allen: So we call it surveillance and we use this latest and greatest tool we developed to do a non-destructive evaluation.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.