Scientists shot a rocket-powered semi truck into a very special prototype truck this summer, all in the name of safely transporting nuclear weapons.
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) announced the existence of the experiment earlier this month, calling it their largest crash test in two decades.
In the crash-test, SNL used rockets to propel a regular semi truck down a track and directly into the side of a new nuclear-weapons-transporter prototype called the ‘Mobile Guardian Transporter.’ This test was conducted to ensure that the transporter is able to withstand an accident without damaging any nuclear weapons on board, and SNL says that it went perfectly.
I was glad to see the rockets fired; I was glad to see it was successful,” Jim Redmond, a Sandia senior program manager, said. “It was tense.”
“Very creatively and with the help of many teams throughout Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories, we figured out how to build a new trailer and complete a test that was flawlessly executed,” said Gary Laughlin, Sandia director over the program.
Although details surrounding the specific safeguards put in place for the new nuclear-transporter are being kept under wraps, it is known that the walls of the transporter can release a “sticky foam,” which can trap potential intruders, acting as a sort of human fly paper. The transporter is also said to be capable of electrocuting someone attempting to gain access without authorization, and may even release tear gas, reported Business Insider.
“The transportation mission is a critical component of an effective nuclear deterrent,” Redmond continued.
“It provides needed assurance to the American public and our allies of the safety and security of our stockpile. You’ve got to be able to ship nuclear assets safely and securely or you don’t have a deterrence program.”