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DOE requests more money for nuke weapons

This undated aerial view shows Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Albuquerque Journal)

The White House is rolling out President Donald Trump’s FY 2019 budget request today and it would funnel $2 billion more to the agency in charge of nuclear weapons.

The Department of Energy released topline budget numbers today and they show that the National Nuclear Security Administration would get $15.1 billion next year, an extra $2.2 billion compared to current year spending. Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico are overseen by the NNSA.

The Journal wrote about what the budget and recently released Nuclear Posture Review could mean for New Mexico’s labs Sunday. The budget released today is just a wish list of the administration. The two-year spending deal approved by Congress last week does not necessarily reflect the president’s requests.

We’ll have more after the DOE press briefing on the budget at 1 p.m. MT.

Here’s the breakdown for NNSA that DOE provided moments ago:

  • $11B for Weapons Activities, $1.8B above FY 2017 Enacted, to maintain the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nuclear stockpile, to continue the nuclear modernization program, and to modernize NNSA’s nuclear security infrastructure.
  • $1.9B for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, $17M below FY 2017 Enacted, to address the entire nuclear threat spectrum by preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons or weapons-usable materials, countering efforts to acquire such weapons or materials, and responding to nuclear or radiological incidents. The Budget Request also includes $220M to continue the orderly and safe closure of the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility and $59M to pursue the proven dilute and dispose technology.
  • $1.8B for Naval Reactors, an increase of $369M from FY 2017 Enacted, to support the current fleet and create the future fleet.