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Keywords:

  • nuclear test monitoring;
  • underground explosions;
  • field experiments;
  • computer simulations;
  • source models

A series of chemical explosions, called the Source Physics Experiments (SPE, see Table ), is being conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to develop a new, more physics-based paradigm for nuclear test monitoring. Improvements in technical capabilities resulting from such development have the potential to help the United States keep better tabs on underground nuclear tests being conducted worldwide and to enhance treaty monitoring.