Sandia National Laboratories is a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Sandia Corporation operates Sandia National Laboratories as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Although most of Sandia’s approximately 10,000 employees work at Sandia’s headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or at its second principal laboratory in Livermore, California, others are working at various sites in the U.S. and abroad.
Sandia is responsible for all non-nuclear components of the nuclear explosive package to create a militarily effective and logistically sustainable U.S. nuclear deterrent. Sandia’s nuclear weapons mission is focused on three imperatives:
- Maintain the U.S. stockpile through surveillance and the exchange of weapon components that have limited life
- Sustain the stockpile into the future through Life Extension Programs and Alterations
- Maintain and advance Sandia’s required engineering and science capabilities, operations and infrastructure to ensure the health and vitality of Sandia’s nuclear weapons mission.
Sandia evaluates the reliability and safety of every active stockpile weapon type on an annual basis, and documents its findings in a letter from the laboratory director to the Energy and Defense Secretaries.
In terms of nuclear nonproliferation and arms control, Sandia plays a critical role in the development of national space and ground systems to monitor nuclear explosions, pioneered the systematic analysis and design of physical protection systems for both civilian and military nuclear facilities, developed the concept of portal perimeter monitoring for arms control and enabled international partners to secure nuclear materials around the world.
Sandia also maintains the Chemical Security Program (CSP), which supports a variety of activities to promote chemical security in partner countries, including: chemical safety and security trainings for academic and industry audiences, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-led chemical security workshops for government and industry representatives, trainings to strengthen academic chemical societies, the development of a chemical security toolkit, architectural design support for chemistry lab construction, agrichemical security initiatives, and grants for training and physical security upgrades at academic and industrial facilities with dangerous chemicals.