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U.S. Tests Plutonium to Gauge Nuclear Arms Readiness U.S. Tests Plutonium to Gauge Nuclear Arms Readiness

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Global Security Newswire

U.S. Tests Plutonium to Gauge Nuclear Arms Readiness

August 20, 2013

Sandia National Laboratories carried out a plutonium experiment this past spring to assess the working order of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday.

Such a test previously occurred at the New Mexico facility late last year.

The United States periodically undertakes these experiments using a "Z machine" that produces X-rays powerful enough to mimic the fusion reactions of nuclear weapons, allowing for the study of plutonium behavior without the detonation of an atomic device.

This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

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