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Friday, November 22, 2013
Moniz Seek to Assure Feinstein Over B61 Refurbishment
Weapons Complex Monitor November 20, 2013 Hagel, Moniz Seek to Assure Feinstein Over B61 Refurbishment The Obama Administration will pursue retirement of the B83 nuclear gravity bomb once the current B61 life extension program is completed, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) earlier this month. Feinstein has been an outspoken skeptic of the Administration’s plans to refurbish the B61, a plan that it says will allow for future stockpile reductions by combining four B61 variants into one new refurbished bomb. In their Nov. 6 letter, which was obtained by NW&M Monitor, Hagel and Moniz noted that Feinstein suggested during a meeting with Liz Sherwood-Randall of the National Security Staff that she would support the B61 LEP if it led to stockpile cuts and the retirement of the B83 and sought to assure Feinstein that would take place. “Having a single B61 variant will enable a reduction in the number of deployed and non-deployed air-delivered nuclear gravity weapons in the stockpile, while increasing the safety and security of this aging system,” Hagel and Moniz wrote. “Additionally, by balancing reduced yield with improved accuracy, this LEP would allow us to pursue retirement of the B61-11, and the B83 gravity bomb, once confidence in the B61-12 stockpile is gained, as provided in the FY 2014 National Nuclear Security Administration Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan.” Led by Feinstein, the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee cut $168 million from the Administration’s $551 million request for work on the B61 in FY 2014, but the Administration has continued to advocate for the full amount. “Even in these times of reduced budgets, we believe the investments required to achieve these plans are needed to fulfill the President’s nuclear vision,” Hagel and Moniz wrote. “Both Departments are committed to the program and through studies of alternative options, believe the B61-12 LEP is the most cost effective option that meets military requirements and policy objectives. Maintaining the commitment to the necessary investments in this program and its capability is critical to the Administration’s nuclear security objectives, and we look forward to the full support of Congress.” When asked by NW&M Monitor last week whether a commitment to retire the B83 would allow her to support the B61 LEP, Feinstein said she was concerned about the size of the weapons and the scope of the LEP, which she said was “more like a Cadillac than a Ford.” November 21, 2013 at 8:17 AM Anonymous said... The Obama Administration will pursue retirement of the B83 nuclear gravity bomb once the current B61 life extension program is completed, November 21, 2013 at 8:17 AM It's curtains for the LLNL weapons program when this happens. Unless of course they steal another LANL design.
By scooby at November 22, 2013
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