More FY 2015 budget analysis over on the mother ship, this time on the Obama administration’s disturbing cuts to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) core nuclear and radiological security programs. Here’s a teaser:
In its Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Obama administration made it resoundingly clear that it is in a full-on retreat from accelerating the security of nuclear and radiological materials around the globe.
This decision is difficult to fathom, given that as recently as this week the President stated that the number one thing that keeps him up at night is “loose nukes.” Likewise the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review identified nuclear terrorism as “today’s most immediate and extreme danger.”
For the third year in a row the NNSA budget submission continues a disturbing trend of funding nuclear weapons and other programs at the expense of core nuclear and radiological material security programs. This year, the tradeoff is starker than it has ever been.
The request slashes nearly eighteen percent compared to the FY 2014 enacted level from core threat reduction and nonproliferation programs such as the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) and the International Materials Protection and Cooperation (IMPC) program while increasing weapons funding nearly seven percent (including a massive 20 percent increase for the unnecessary, over budget, and behind schedule B61 mod 12 life extension program). The request also increases funding for NNSA’s Naval Reactors program by nearly 26 percent.
Roughly half of the funding cut to the Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation account (or approximately $250 million) came out of core programs, while the other half was to the controversial Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel program in South Carolina.
Read the whole thing here.