Author Archives: Dan Leone

DoE Inches Closer to Warhead-Core Production in NM After Finishing Environmental Review

To support a manufacturing effort crucial to future U.S. nuclear arms-modernization programs, the Department of Energy still plans to drastically increase the amount of plutonium permitted inside a building at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, according to a recently completed environmental review. In a final environmental assessment dated July 18 and posted online […]

Rex Geveden, CEO of BWX  Technologies. Credit: BWX Technologies

BWXT Chief Doesn’t Foresee Earnings Hit Over Botched Missile Tubes

Botched welding jobs on 12 missile tubes for the Navy’s next-generation ballistic-missile submarine should not materially affect tube-vendor BWX Technologies’ [BWXT] bottom line this year, the company’s chief executive said Tuesday. However, it is “too early to tell” whether the gaffe will prevent BWX Technologies (BWXT) from winning more business with the Navy’s Columbia-class submarine […]

President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INR) Treaty at a summit in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 8, 1987. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library)

Top Nuke Targeting Officer Says U.S. At ‘Disadvantage’ Without Multilateral Nuke Reduction Treaty

OMAHA, Neb. — The United States could be at a strategic disadvantage without a multilateral nuclear arms-reduction treaty, the Navy admiral in charge of setting targets for U.S. nuclear weapons said here Wednesday. “The INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty] is a great system between us and Russia to limit forces within a certain range,” Rear […]

Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command. Photo: Dan Leone.

STRATCOM Commander Says NNSA Must Resolve Pit Problems By Year’s End

OMAHA, Neb. — The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) may not be able to produce 80 nuclear-warhead cores a year by 2030 unless by the end of this year it solves some of the issues preventing it from converting an unfinished plutonium disposal plant in South Carolina into a weapons facility, the commander of U.S. […]

STRATCOM Commander Dismisses Russian Suspicions of Japan Aegis Ashore Sites

OMAHA, Neb. — The head of U.S. Strategic command here dismissed Russian worries about two U.S.-designed missile defense systems headed to Japan as “political messaging,” insisting that the weapon is only for defense. “I find it pretty interesting, that Russia would be concerned about Aegis Ashore in Japan,” Gen. John Hyten told reporters here during […]

Unified NDAA Calls On Pentagon to Accelerate LRSO and GBSD

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which the House could vote on Thursday, calls on the Pentagon to speed up modernization of the nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic-missile fleet and air-launched cruise missiles. The unified National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) picked up House language requiring the Pentagon to find some way of speeding up the programs. The […]

Congress Releases DoE Nuke Details in NDAA Ahead of Thursday Vote

The House could vote Thursday morning on a compromise defense spending bill that would allow the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to build a new low-yield nuclear warhead in fiscal 2019. If the House approves the conference report for the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Senate would have to follow suit before President […]

NNSA logo

Decision to Study Stripping Tritium Mission from Savannah River ‘Routine,’ DoE Official Says

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) decision to study transferring some $300 million in annual defense nuclear materials operations to Tennessee from South Carolina is “routine,” according to the head of the Department of Energy’s cleanup mission at the Savannah River Site. “This is just a routine kind of process we always go through, especially […]


Returning Nuke Weapons Lab to Non-Profit Structure Key in Big Contract Win, Incoming Management Partner Says

Excising the profit-seeking mindset from the Los Alamos National Laboratory was key to keeping the University of California on the storied nuclear-weapons lab’s management team, an executive with the massive public university system said Wednesday. After about a dozen years under the for-profit Los Alamos National Security, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in June […]


Fluor Taking Over Naval Nuclear Laboratory Oct. 1 Under Huge Contracts

Fluor Marine Propulsion, of Arlington, Va., on Thursday won major nuclear-warship support contracts, worth up to a combined total of  roughly $30 billion over 10 years, from the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Navy. Fluor Marine Propulsion will take over Oct. 1 from incumbent Nuclear Naval Laboratory contractor Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp., the NNSA […]