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FY19 Nuclear Security Budget: More for Weapons, Less for Nonproliferation

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) released details this week of its portion of the President’s FY 2019 Budget Request.

The President’s $15 billion FY 2019 Budget Request for NNSA represents an increase of 16.8 percent above the FY 2017 enacted level.

Budget Highlights

The FY 2019 Budget Request for Weapons Activities ($11 billion) is 19.2 percent above the FY 2017 enacted level to meet the Administration’s requirements to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure. The budget request for NNSA will enable:

  • Stockpile modernization through Life Extension Programs (LEPs) that extend the lifetime of the nation’s nuclear stockpile
  • Safe and secure dismantlement of nuclear weapons, component disposition and mining of material and components for LEPs and external customers
  • Sustainment of the production capabilities and capacity required for LEPs, maintenance, surveillance, and dismantlement
  • Execution of weapon-specific assessment, maintenance, and surveillance for the nation’s nuclear stockpile to ensure that all weapons remain operational
  • Support of initiatives resulting from the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), including work within the Nuclear Weapons Council to define the military requirements and strategic direction provided by the NPR
  • Sustainment of strategic material processing capabilities and the stabilization, consolidation, disposition, tracking, and accounting of nuclear materials
  • Maturation of next-generation component technologies to address issues, emerging threats, and technological surprise

The Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation budget ($1.9 billion) is down by 0.9 percent over the FY 2017 enacted level, and includes a $47 million increase for nuclear counterterrorism. The budget request will enable NNSA to:

  • Pursue additional opportunities to minimize and, where possible, eliminate weapons-usable nuclear material around the world
  • Demonstrate advanced capabilities for detecting foreign nuclear material and weapons production activities and for material security
  • Work with local, state, and federal partners to both prevent and be prepared to respond to nuclear or radiological incidents at home or abroad
  • Support the development and demonstration of advanced testbeds in early detection of proliferation activities and in material security
  • Provide analytical and technical support to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to further U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction goals through IAEA’s nuclear security and safeguards mission
  • Provide, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, improved technical equipment and additional training to address the increased demand for radiological/nuclear device stabilization capabilities, including procurement of three fixed-wing aircraft to replace the current aging fleet

For Naval Reactors, the FY 2019 Budget Request ($1.8 billion) is 26 percent above the FY 2017 enacted level to support the Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. The budget request will enable NNSA to:

  • Provide core support for the safe and reliable operation of the nation’s nuclear fleet – 70 submarines; 11 aircraft carriers; and 4 research, development, and training platforms – that account for over 45 percent of the Navy’s major combatants
  • Begin long-lead procurement for the Columbia-class submarine reactor components, beginning in FY 2019 to support a planned lead-ship construction start in FY 2021
  • Continue progress on refueling the S8G prototype reactor and design efforts for the reactor plant for the Columbia-class replacement submarine
  • Begin construction on the Spent Fuel Handling Recapitalization Project in Idaho that will facilitate long term, reliable processing and packaging of spent nuclear fuel from aircraft carriers and submarines

For Federal Salaries and Expenses, the FY 2019 Budget Request ($423 million) is 9.1 percent above the FY 2017 enacted level and supports recruiting, training, and retaining the highly skilled federal workforce essential to achieving success in technically complex 21st century national security missions. The request supports 1,737 federal civilian employees, 120 above the current level. This includes 22 employees in 13 foreign countries for the Department’s overseas presence.

Click here for a fact sheet about the Department’s FY 2019 budget request.

Source: National Nuclear Security Administration. Edited for context and format by CBRNE Central.

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