Numerical modeling for underground nuclear test monitoring



The symposium for Numerical Modeling for Underground Nuclear Test Monitoring was held March 23–25 in Durango, Colo. Funded by the DOE Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation (OACN) and hosted by the Source Region Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the meetings's purpose was to discuss the state-of-the-art in numerical simulations of nuclear explosion phenomenology with applications to test-ban monitoring. In particular, we wished to focus on the uniqueness of model fits to data, the measurement and characterization of material response models, advanced modeling techniques, and applications of modeling to monitoring problems.

The concept for the meeting arose through discussions with Marv Denny, who was on assignment at Department of Energy Headquarters from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). In these conversations, the following question was discussed: how are numerical modeling techniques being used to understand the effects of explosion- source phenomenology on test-ban treaty monitoring? Numerical studies are becoming increasingly important in the evaluation of capabilities for proliferation monitoring; this trend has accelerated with the curtailment of the nuclear testing program. During these discussions, the issue of the uniqueness and limitations of numerical models arose. It was decided to address these questions by convening a group of experts to present and discuss the problems associated with modeling of close-in data from explosions.