Uniform 3-D compression is an essential step in creating controlled nuclear fusion. It means that almost none of the x-ray energy delivered to the pellet squirted uselessly away. Weapons simulation work (the alternative to nuclear testing) conducted on supercomputers by Sandia for the US Department of Energy is expected to benefit from data from high-yield explosions, as should, further down the pike, energy production.
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the US Department of Energy. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.