Aging Nuclear Arsenal Grows Ever More Costly
November 09, 2014
By Ralph Vartabedian and W.J. Hennigan
Another major cost is maintaining parts for the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Of 70,000 nuclear weapons that the U.S. built, only about 4,800 remain in service. But the government must still maintain a costly inventory of old parts.
Those parts, as well as some retired parts that are too sensitive or toxic for disposal, all have to be guarded in high-security warehouses, said Philip Coyle, former deputy director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and more recently scientific advisor to the Obama administration.
At a Texas warehouse, congressional investigators this year found a stash of 3 million parts, about half of them common screws, nuts and bolts that did not appear to need any special security measures..
Russia is spending $560 billion on military modernization over the next six years with 25% allocated to aging nuclear forces, part of a program to replace all of its Soviet Union-era launchers. U.S. officials say it will take at least $355 billion over the coming decade to upgrade America’s nuclear arsenal and keep up with the rearmament spree underway in the rest of the world.
Read the article in the LA Times.