Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 48, July 2000
New US Nuclear Weapons SupercomputerOn June 29, the world's fastest supercomputer, to be used by the US Department of Energy to simulate nuclear weapons tests, was unveiled to reporters in New York by the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation. The computer, christened ASCI (Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative) White, costing $110 million and as large as two basketball courts, is capable of conducting 12.3 trillions of operations per second (teraflops). By 2004, IBM hopes to provide the Department with a 100-teraflop capacity computer, which, it is anticipated, will be able to fully simulate a nuclear weapons explosion. Speaking at the launch, Chief Information Officer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where ASCI White will be installed, observed: "Without underground testing, we need simulations to make sure the stockpile is safe, reliable and operational… If you polled the weapons designers right now, they would say that [underground] testing is still more effective…"
Report: New IBM supercomputer to simulate N-tests for US, Reuters, June 29.
© 2000 The Acronym Institute.