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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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."