I recently wrote an analysis on the future of the proposed life extension program for the B61 gravity bomb.
It argues, “Congress provided the full $233 million NNSA requested for the B61 life extension program in FY 2012. However, when you read the fine print, it is less clear how Congress will respond to future funding requests. According to the Conference Report for H.R. 2055, the legislation which funds the government for FY 2012, including NNSA, Congress withheld $134 million until “NNSA submits to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations the outcome of the Phase 6.2/2A design definition and cost study.
The results of this study, as well as other stringent reporting requirements mandated by Congress, are likely to present insurmountable hurdles to NNSA’s plan to move forward with the most ambitious option for the B61 LEP. The current budget environment is no doubt also a key driver of the need to reevalutate the objectives of the program, but a rethinking of the goals of the planned refurbishment would be necessary even in better economic times.”
You can read the entire piece here.