Author Archives: Dan Leone

Despite Opposition to New Warhead Funding, Feinstein Signals Support for NNSA Budget Bill

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who this week voted against the Senate’s 2019 National Defense Authorization Act because it would authorize the Department of Energy to create a low-yield nuclear warhead, has signaled her support for a 2019 budget bill that actually funds the weapon. However, Feinstein also wants to amend the spending bill to prohibit […]


LANL Contract Competitors Await Debrief This Week

Teams that lost the race to run the Los Alamos National Laboratory for the next 10 years are expecting a formal debriefing from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) this week, after the agency’s decision to entrust the storied weapons lab to a team including longtime manager the University of California.A pair of sources said […]

Senate Could Clear DoE to Start Developing New Nukes Without Congressional Clearance

The Department of Energy could be allowed to develop new nuclear warheads, or modify existing ones, without permission from Congress, after the Senate on Thursday defeated an amendment to its 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The version of the defense policy bill pending before the Senate would still authorize $65 million in 2019 spending […]

Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile. Photo: Lockheed Martin

Senate Dems Introduce Amendment to Strip Low-Yield Warhead From NDAA

A group of Senate Democrats led by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) wants to strip funding for a new low-yield nuclear warhead out of the Senate’s 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and use the money to develop a plan to help verify North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, should that ever happen. Markey introduced his amendment to […]

Trident II missile being deployed. Photo: DoD.

Reed Vows NDAA Amendment to Keep Congress in Loop on New Warhead Development

Besides backing a new low-yield warhead and at least one more year of building a plutonium disposal plant, the Senate Armed Services Committee is pressing the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to exchange some weapons personnel with the Pentagon, in a bid to improve relations between the government’s major nuclear weapons agencies. That is according […]

Senate Appropriators Want to Keep Interoperable Warhead

Senate appropriators favor continuing sustaining an Obama-era program to create a so-called interoperable nuclear warhead that could fly on future Air Force and Navy missiles — a program their House counterparts have proposed canceling. That is according to the detailed bill report accompanying the fiscal 2019 energy and water bill the Senate Appropriations Committee approved […]

House 2019 NDAA Has Low-Yield Warhead, No Pits for Savannah River

The House of Representatives easily passed its version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday, sending the Senate a strongly bipartisan bill that calls for the National Nuclear Security Administration to begin work on a low-yield, submarine-launched ballistic-missile warhead. The same day, the Senate Appropriations Committee also overwhelmingly approved funding for the […]


Senate Appropriations Panel Would Fund Low-Yield Ballistic Missile in 2019

The National Nuclear Security Administration would receive not quite $15 billion if a Department of Energy budget bill approved Tuesday by a Senate Appropriations subcommittee becomes law. The bulk of the money — $10.9 billion — would fund nuclear-weapon operations at the semiautonomous Department of Energy agency, with the rest split almost evenly between nuclear […]


Regents Approve Extra $7 Million for UT’s Los Alamos Bid

The University of Texas on Friday approved an extra $7 million for the institution’s bid on the next Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operations contract with the Department of Energy. The funding will help pay costs associated with taking over management of the nuclear weapons lab, if the university wins the competition. The University […]