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Thursday, March 20, 2014

NNSA WEAPONS FUNDING PROJECTED TO APPROACH $10B BY FY 2019

Weapons Complex Morning Briefing
March 17, 2014

NNSA WEAPONS FUNDING PROJECTED TO APPROACH $10B BY FY 2019

Funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons program is projected to continue to grow over the next five years, reaching nearly $10 billion by Fiscal Year 2019, according to the Obama Administration’s detailed budget justification for the agency that was released this weekend. The Administration requested $8.3 billion for the weapons program in FY 2015, a $533 million increase, and more of the same is expected in FY 2016, with the Administration projecting it will need $8.9 billion for the weapons program that year. Funding is projected to steadily increase before reaching $9.7 billion in FY 2019. The highest priced item in the NNSA’s budget is work on the B61 life extension program. The Administration requested $643 million for the program in FY 2015, and funding for the program is expected to steadily increase, reaching $729 million in FY 2018 and $726 million in FY 2019.

Meanwhile, funding for the NNSA’s nonproliferation account is expected to get a small boost in FY 2016 before leveling off through FY 2019, the budget request reveals. The agency requested $1.6 billion for the agency’s nonproliferation account in FY 2015, down $399 million from FY 2014 enacted levels. Funding is projected to be $1.7 billion in FY 2016, and largely flatline through FY 2019.

The budget details this weekend also shed a little more light on extra spending on the Administration’s wish list for FY 2015. Dubbed the “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative,” (OGSI) the Administration said it wants another $600 million for the NNSA’s weapons and nonproliferation accounts that would be above the Congressionally established budget cap for FY 2015. According to the budget details, which do not include any specifics about the funding, the OGSI money would be used to “accelerate modernization and maintenance of nuclear facilities” by “accelerat[ing] funding for infrastructure infrastructure planning and improvements found in the Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities program.” It would also boost nonproliferation funding with extra money for “R&D to advance proliferation detection and nuclear detonation detection capabilities; efforts to remove and eliminate, or secure and safeguard vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials worldwide; and efforts to limit or prevent the illegal transfer and illicit trafficking of weapons-usable nuclear and other radiological materials.” Additional money would also go toward cybersecurity programs.

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