In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to discontinue above- and below-ground testing of nuclear weapons. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) must rely on laboratory experiments and computer-based calculations to verify the reliability of the nuclear stockpile. The Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico (SNL/NM) Z machine was developed to support the science-based approach for mimicking nuclear explosions and stockpile stewardship. Plutonium (Pu) isotopes with greater than ninety-eight percent enrichment were used in the experiments. In May 2006, SNL/NM received authority that the Z Machine Isentropic Compression Experiments could commence. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) provided the plutonium targets and loaded the target assemblies provided by SNL/NM. Three experiments were conducted from May through July 2006. The residues from each experiment, which weighed up to 913 pounds, were metallic and were packaged into a 55-gallon drum each. SNL/NM conducts the experiments and provides temporary storage for the drums until shipment to LANL for final waste certification for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico. This paper presents a comprehensive approach for documenting generator knowledge for characterization of waste in cooperation with scientists at the two laboratories and addresses a variety of essential topics.

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