Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) - a US
government (Department of Defense, Department of Energy) scientific and
engineering laboratory in Livermore, CA. operated by the University of
California. It was founded in the 1950s by Ernest Lawrence and Edward
Teller to counteract the Russian hydrogen bomb threat. Its sister lab is Sandia
Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996, banning
underground nuclear testing. Thus now the lab's nuclear responsibility is
the science-based "Stockpile Stewardship",
i.e. making sure the remaining nuclear weapons work perfectly without the
ability to test them or create new ones. This now involves using extensive
computer simulation, the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI);
the IBM RS/6000 "ASCI White" is the world's fastest supercomputer.
A facility currently under construction, almost complete is the National
Ignition Facility (NIF), for the Inertial Confinement Fusion program. It will
use the world's largest laser to test fusion experiments. For its extensive
laser programs LLNL has often been backronym-described as "lasers, lasers,
nothing but lasers."
Actually the lab is vastly diverse and also has programs in fields such as
biology and chemistry.