Background: The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in north central New Mexico was originally founded during World War II as the secret atomic weapons lab for the Manhattan Project. This wartime effort culminated in the “Trinity Test,” the first atomic explosive device, detonated near Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945, which was followed by the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945. After the war Los Alamos developed nuclear weapons, the modern “H-bombs.”
Currently, five of the seven warhead types in the planned enduring stockpile are LANL designs. These are the B61 gravity bomb, with a planned $11 billion Life Extension Program (LEP); the sub-launched W76, currently undergoing a $4.5 billion LEP; the sub-launched W88 with a $1.5 billion “alteration”; the W78 for intercontinental ballistic missiles; and the W80, the leading candidate for a ~$10 billion warhead for a new air-launched cruise missile.
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