Joint Center for Resilient National Security
United States national security relies upon timely response to changes in the global environment. An increasing number of nations possess the ability to inflict significant harm on the U.S., requiring focused expertise in areas of national security to address these threats.
To achieve resilience and responsiveness within the U.S. national security enterprise requires connection with the powerful thought leadership found in U.S. universities, government, non-governmental organizations, and national laboratories. The Joint Center for Resilient National Security is that connection point of engagement for key contributors in areas of responsibility and strategic interest to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The mission of the Joint Center for Resilient National Security (JCRNS) is to develop and enhance national security capabilities between U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and U.S. universities supporting Los Alamos National Laboratory. The JCRNS will accomplish its mission through a series of programs that will develop over time.
The purpose of JCRNS is the create a cadre of academic researchers who:
- Are experts in weapons physics, and have knowledge of weapons complex, and weapons complex issues.
- Collaborate with LANL staff on basic research projects having a potential for high impact on stockpile stewardship.
- Facilitate the connection of LANL staff to the academic research community.
- Provide a connection for certain students of academics to LANL and stockpile stewardship research.
Nuclear Security Enterprise Program (NSEP)
A program to introduce select university faculty annually to the nuclear security enterprise. Participants are chosen from universities across the U.S. based on knowledge, skills, abilities, interests and potential to obtain security clearances. The program includes site visits, presentations, and discussions. Upon completion, individuals may be assigned to the Joint Research and Development Program and Academic Working Group Program.
Joint Research and Development Program (JRAD)
A program of applied research and development executed by collaborative teams of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) staff, U.S. university faculty, and staff from other laboratories focused on areas of strategic importance to the National Nuclear Security Administration. The JRAD will develop an academic bench of top U.S. university faculty who possess a deep understanding of national security problems and issues faced by LANL and other national security labs. These faculty members will serve as resources for national labs in times of need, and their research programs will produce graduates well prepared for national lab careers. Research and development areas will be chosen by the Joint Center for Resilient National Security leaders and will be aligned with Academic Working Group topics. JCRNS projects primarily involve academics and lab staff, but students of academics can be funded to work on research projects aligned with the JCRNS project. Students serve as Lab interns during summers. JCRNS academics and students are not limited to TAMU faculty.
The center’s topical areas will evolve as mission needs and university capabilities develop. Current lab-university collaborations supporting the LANL mission include:
Topical Research Areas:
Radiation-Hydrodynamics, Academic leads: Jim Morel (TAMU), Dmitriy Anistratov (NC State) Staff leads: Rob Lowrie, James Warsa
Neutronics, Academic leads: Anil Prinja (UNM), Jean Ragusa (TAMU), Staff leads: Scott Ramsey, Cory Ahrens
High-Energy Density Physics, Academic leads: Carolyn Kuranz (U.Mich), Mark Koepke (West Virginia U.), Staff lead: Sean Finnegan
Energetic Materials and Shock Physics, Academic Leads: Scott Jackson (TAMU), Jacob McFarland (TAMU), Staff leads: Carlos Chiquete and Johnathan Regele
Relativistically-Correct Multifrequency IMC, Jim Morel (TAMU), Rob Lowrie (LANL), Ryan Wollaeger (LANL).
Second-Moment, High-Order/Low-Order Methods for Radiation Transport, Dmitriy Anistratov (NCSU), Jim Morel (TAMU), James Warsa (LANL), Ryosuke Parks (LANL), Joseph Coale (LANL).
Improved Theory and Experiments for Stochastic Neutron Transport, Anil Prinja (UNM) and Cory Ahrens (LANL), Patrick O’Rourke (LANL), Scott Ramsey (LANL).
NDSE Inverse Problems, Jean Ragusa (TAMU), Cory Ahrens (LANL), Zachary Hardy (LANL), Joseph Coale (LANL).
• High-Energy Density Physics
Radiation Transport Validation Experiments for Stochastic Media, Carolyn Kuranz (U.Mich), Mark Koepke (West Virgina U.), Sean Finnegan (LANL), Todd Urbatsch (LANL).
An Experimental Environment for A-B Experiments on the Z-Machine (Opposition Research) Carolyn Kuranz (U.Mich), Mark Koepke (West Virgina U.), and Sean Finnegan (LANL).
• Energetic Materials and Shock Physics:
Separating the Effects of Plastic Flow Stress and Explosive Drive at Ultra-High Strain Rates, Scott Jackson (TAMU) and Carlos Chiquete (LANL).
Secondary Breakup of Reactive Metal Ejecta Particles: Modeling Aero- Mechanical Mechanisms, Jacob McFarland (TAMU) Jonathan Regele (LANL).
Academic Working Group Program (AWOG)
A program to provide forums for deep exploration into key topics and problems related to LANL national security missions. Similar to Joint Working Groups that have provided forums for multi-lab explorations for many decades, AWOG meetings may include unclassified sessions, classified sessions, or both. AWOG problems will be chosen by Joint Center for Resilient National Security leaders and will be aligned with Joint Research and Development Program topical areas.
Joint Academic Staff Working Group (JAWOG) Meetings Highlights:
We completed the first set of JAWOG meetings in Fall 2021 and the second set in Fall 2022 for Radiation-Hydrodynamics, Neutronics, and High-Energy Density Physics. Our next JAWOG meeting is scheduled for November 28-30, 2023.
Each of the three days is devoted to a topical research area.
All 2022 JAWOG meetings took place at TAMU with the academic and LANL staff leaders attending in person. Other LANL participants attended via VTC.
Some LLNL staff have participated in JAWOG meetings.
All of the leaders attended each of the three days, and everyone found the cross-communication between projects worthwhile.
Possible New Initiatives
We are exploring the delivery of graduate-level courses on various technical subjects, to new LANL staff. These courses will require formal homework and exams. They need not count for academic credit but would be eligible for such credit.
We are exploring the joint delivery of academic classes by TAMU faculty and LANL staff. This has already occurred, but only for existing classes. We wish to develop new classes in critical areas – particularly time-dependent neutronics, stochastic neutronics, radiation-hydrodynamics.