The Joint Center for Resilient National Security (JCRNS) is a joint center of the Texas A&M System and Los Alamos National Laboratory (https://nationallabsoffice.tamus.edu/joint-center-for-resilient-national-security/) . The mission of 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 accomplishes its mission through a series of programs that are in place and will continue to develop over time. There are three major programs:
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. 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. The center’s topical research areas will evolve as mission needs and university capabilities develop. Current lab-university collaborations supporting the LANL mission include time-dependent neutronics, radiation-hydrodynamics, and high energy density science. JCRNS expects to add two more projects in 2023 in shock physics.
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.
The JCRNS ended the year recapping this year’s research projects and tasks via Joint Academic Working Group meetings. These meetings, which represent the main activity of the AWOG Program, take place annually among research teams to discuss progress made over the previous year and plan for the following year. The first set took place at LANL in 2021. The second set took place November 30 – December 1, 2022, at TAMU. The meetings this year took place from November 29 – 31, 2023 at the Multi-Purpose Research and Education Facility on the Texas A&M University Campus. There are presently four JCRNS projects relating to the three topical research: two in radiation-hydrodynamics, one in stochastic neutronics, one in time-dependent neutronics, and two in high energy density science. The academic and LANL leadership for each project attended in person, with the reminder of LANL staff participating by video teleconference. Most of the leadership from each project attended the meetings for all of the projects. Everyone who did agreed that the cross-disciplinary interactions were very useful. The projects have shown progress over the last year and each project team was able to make timely progress toward an initial plan for the upcoming year. The in-person attendees are pictured below.
From Left-to-Right: Daryl Hawkins (TAMU), Jim Warsa (LANL), Cory Ahrens (LANL), Anil Prinja (U. New Mexico), Rob Lowrie (LANL), Jim Morel (TAMU), Zach Hardy (LANL), Jean Ragusa (TAMU), Eric Tovar (LANL), John Kline (LANL), John Scott (LANL), Eli Feinberg (LANL). Not shown: Carolyn Kuranz (U. Michigan), Dmitriy Anistratov (N.C. State).