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Welcome to the website dedicated to the US-Russian lab-to-lab cooperation!

This web site documents the collaboration between the nuclear weapons laboratories of the U.S. and Russia after the end of the Soviet Union. It is a companion to the book published in 2016 by the Los Alamos Historical Society on the history of this unique relationship.

We tell the story from both Russian and American perspectives. Together, they express the full spectrum of views and challenges of the times - and illustrate the achievements of this cooperation.


The History of the Lab-to-Lab

What's New

April 24, 2020
Snezhinsk scientist's surprise in recognizing his photo on the book cover

Some time ago, Vladimir Shmakov, scientist from Snezhinsk's VNIITF, walked past a book display of his Institute library when something caught his eye. He stopped to take a closer look on the bold-colored cover of Siegfried Hecker's book Doomed to Cooperate showcased on the stand. The cover featured Yuli Khariton, the legendary scientific head of the Soviet bomb program, ready to shake the outstreched hand of Sig Hecker, Khariton's guest from Los Alamos. It was a perfectly captured moment in history, but to Vladimir, the photo looked just too familiar.

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Lab-to-Lab cooperation

The story begins in February 1992, barely two months after the breakup of the Soviet Union, when the Russian nuclear weapons laboratory directors visited Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Two weeks later, LLNL Director John Nuckolls and LANL Director Siegfried Hecker visited the Russian analogues to American labs, Russian Federal Nuclear Center- VNIIEF and Russian Federal Nuclear Center-VNIITF, in the formerly secret cities of Sarov and Snezhinsk.

In September next year, LANL and VNIIEF scientists conducted the first joint experiment using an explosive magnetic generator designed in Sarov. Dozens and hundreds joint endeavors followed suite.

More about lab-to-lab in a 15-min video (courtesy of CISAC)