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Nuclear Energy & Weapons

Given the central role that physical scientists have traditionally played in the history of nuclear energy and weapons, FYI covers major developments in nuclear energy and weapons policy, particularly as they relate to ongoing science policy matters.

23 May 2008

"A believable attribution capability may help to discourage behavior that could lead to a nuclear event."  - "Nuclear Forensics: Role, State of the Art, Program Needs"

2 May 2008

About two weeks ago, the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing with a witness panel rarely seen by the subcommittee.  In addition to National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Tom D'Agostino, the witness list also included all three of the Directors of the weapons labs: Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia.   The discussion was wide-ranging, including the Reliable Replacement Warhead, transformation of the weapons complex,  reduction in laboratory staff, underground testing, the role of science in the laboratories, and worries about

30 Dec 2009

The FY 2010 appropriations’ cycle drew to a close when President Obama signed the Department of Defense Appropriations bill. While most budget items tracked by FYI received funding increases, there were some decreases.

16 Oct 2009

With a vote of 80 to 17, the Senate voted yesterday to send the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill to President Obama.  This action follows approval of this final legislation by the full House on a 308 to 114 vote on October 1.

The bill increases the budget for the DOE Office of Science by 3.1 percent or $146.1 million, with program increases ranging from 0.5 to 6.8 percent. Funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration increased by 7.3 percent.

8 Oct 2009

“To achieve a global ban on nuclear testing, my administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.  After more than five decades of talks, it is time for the testing of nuclear weapons to finally be banned.”- President Obama; April 2009

2 Oct 2009

The House has approved and sent to the Senate the final version of the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. The Senate should vote on this $33.5 billion bill next week, and the President is expected to sign it.

Total funding increases by less than 1 percent, or $200 million, over last year. The appropriation for the Department of Energy rose to $27.1 billion, an increase of $318 million.

16 Jul 2009

Later today the House is expected to easily pass its version of the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. Consideration of the bill began yesterday, and under a procedure that some Republicans objected to, amendments offered to the bill were limited.

10 Jul 2009

The Senate Appropriations Committee has sent to the Senate floor S. 1436, the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. Senate Committee Report 111-45 provides budget and policy recommendations for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons activities.

The bill makes the following funding recommendations:

Weapons Activities - Total:

5 Jun 2009

Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and his colleagues on the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee exhibited little enthusiasm for the FY 2010 budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration.  “It’s hard to imagine that  so little is truly in need of change over the coming year” said Dorgan in his opening remarks at the June 2 hearing.