Current U.S. plans for maintaining and modernizing the nuclear arsenal are projected to cost taxpayers roughly $355 billion in the next 10 years, Reuters reports.
That figure — produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in a Friday report — constitutes a 72 percent cost spike, by some estimates. The new price tag is nearly $150 billion more than the $208.5 billion estimate the Obama administration provided to Congress in a 2012 report, according to one arms-control advocacy organization.
The United States is still in the planning stages for much of its program to replace retiring nuclear-delivery vehicles, build new fissile-material laboratories and overhaul aging warheads. Expectations are that nuclear-arsenal spending will substantially ramp-up after 2023.
Obama administration modernization plans for strategic and nonstrategic weapon delivery systems include new long-range bombers and ballistic missile-submarines, which are projected to total approximately $136 billion through 2023, according to the 25-page CBO analysis.
Energy Department plans for retrofitting warheads, building new naval reactors and constructing new fissile-material laboratories are estimated to cost $105 billion. An additional $56 billion could be spent on command-and-control technology. The CBO report also accounts for $59 billion in anticipated cost growth.
“The impending nuclear-modernization tidal wave will force increasingly difficult trade-offs between nuclear and conventional capabilities,” Kingston Reif, nuclear nonproliferation director at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, projected.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.