CoLOSSIS

We’re home to the CoLOSSIS system, which is nearly 100 times more powerful than medical computed tomography, or a CAT scan.

Pantex is home to the world’s only X-ray inspection system, known as CoLOSSIS, for nuclear weapon components. What does it take to look inside the core of a nuclear weapon? Start with four cryogenically cooled astronomy cameras capable of 8,000 by 8,000-pixel images, one four-sided pyramidal mirror and a burst of photons generated by an X-ray source nearly 100 times more powerful than medical computed tomography (or a CAT scan), and you have the world’s only computed tomography imaging system used to determine integrity of a “pit” — a nuclear weapon’s core.

At approximately 32,000 pounds, the lead-shielded CoLOSSIS is operated by highly trained quality assurance technicians whose background stems from the medical X-ray or industrial non-destructive evaluation fields.