The Energy Department is seeking $8.3 billion in fiscal 2015 funds for nuclear-arsenal activities — a proposed $534 million increase over current fiscal-year levels.
The department’s total budget proposal for the semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration is $11.7 billion, which includes $1.4 billion for naval atomic propulsion systems, according to a Tuesday agency press release. The next fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
“The [fiscal 2015] request provides the resources we need to modernize and maintain an aging nuclear weapons stockpile and supporting infrastructure,” Acting NNSA Administrator Bruce Held said in provided comments.
Some $2.7 billion of this year’s budget request would go toward refurbishing aging U.S. warheads, including the B-61 gravity bomb. An additional $1.7 billion would be allocated to the “science, technology and engineering base” conducting warhead life-extension research activities, according to the release.
About $2.4 billion would be dedicated to modernizing the National Nuclear Security Administration’s “nuclear security capabilities,” including further design work for the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 complex in Tennessee.
The requested $335 million for the uranium-enrichment facility would be an increase over enacted fiscal 2014 levels, which at different times have been said to be $309 million or $326 million, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
At the same time, the Energy Department is mothballing an uncompleted South Carolina mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility, which was intended to turn excess plutonium into nuclear-reactor material.
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"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are reviving calls to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol following the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia." Rep. Cedric Richmond, the group's chair, told ABC News that "we will never solve America's race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States." And Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said, “Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol." But a CBC spokesperson said no formal legislative effort is afoot.