Nuclear Security Official Hints at Leaner, Less Costly Weapons Complex
By Walter Pincus
Tuesday, March 24, 2009; A11
The best status report on the U.S. nuclear weapons program and its future was delivered last Tuesday at a session of the House Appropriations subcommittee on energy and water development, where the head of the program declared, "We must stop pouring money into an old, Cold War complex that is too big and too expensive."
The speaker was Thomas P. D'Agostino, who heads the National Nuclear Security Administration, which runs the nuclear weapons complex and is a carryover from the Bush administration. As he had done before, D'Agostino pressed Congress to fund "urgent" change, while acknowledging that President Obama will favor a reduction in the nuclear weapons stockpile.
For example, he noted that over the past two years, the projection of the number of new plutonium triggers that will be needed to keep the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile reliable and secure has steadily dropped from 450 a year to 20.
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