UK Atomic Weapons Establishment deploys three supercomputers for Trident

UK Atomic Weapons Establishment deploys three supercomputers for Trident

Nuclear test ban means computer modelling is key to weapons development

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The UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has deployed three SGI supercomputers to improve the development and maintenance of nuclear warheads.

The AWE is using three SGI ICE X systems to support the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system. The SGI systems will support the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads, from initial concept, assessment and design through to component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, decommissioning and then disposal.

AWE says the The SGI ICE X systems are scalable and flexible, enabling it to run a wide range of applications and to improve scientific modelling.
The international Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits any test that produces any nuclear yield underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space. AWE must therefore continually develop methods to verify the safety and reliability of nuclear warheads through a science-based programme.
Paul Tomlinson, head of high performance computing at AWE, said, “It’s critical that advanced high-performance computing systems underpin our science programme, and SGI’s supercomputing systems are enabling us to quickly advance research and development.

"Crucially, this means we can continue to underwrite the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the comprehensive test ban treaty era.”

At the end of 2011, the AWE improved its project reporting capabilities by implementing Oracle's business intelligence software. In 2010, the AWE signed a £45 million ten-year infrastructure services renewal deal with HP.


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