Not much sooner than Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette provided the guidance for doing so, the agency’s semi-autonomous nuclear-weapons agency added language to prime contracts enabling operators of nuclear weapons sites to bill the government for paid time off given to workers who couldn’t do their job because of COVID-19.

The agency had not posted the language of the COVID-19 modifications by deadline Wednesday, but a federal procurement database shows the prime contracts for the major National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) labs and production sites, along with the Nevada National Security Site, all were modified to include COVID-19 relief language last week.

“As of April 16, 2020, all NNSA [management and operations] contracts were modified to incorporate a contract clause to implement Section 3610 of the CARES Act,” a spokesperson at NNSA headquarters wrote in an email Tuesday morning.

Under Section 3610 of the CARES Act — the COVID-19 bailout bill that became law on March 27 — Department of Energy contractors can seek reimbursement for paid time off granted between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020.

Contractors may not bill the government for more than 40 hours per week of paid leave per employee, including sick leave, according to the CARES Act. The law lets DoE tap into funding provided by that legislation, any subsequent COVID-19 bailouts, or any other appropriation, through the end of the 2020 fiscal year.

Contractors seeking reimbursement, including for subcontractors, must represent that they are not double-dipping into other CARES Act relief funds.

The NNSA modifies and maintains the nuclear warheads and bombs used by the interagency U.S. Strategic Command. The civilian agency is currently modernizing the B61 gravity bomb for use on B52, B-2, B-21 and NATO bomber aircraft, and the W88 submarine-launched ballistic-missile warhead used on the Trident II-D5 missiles carried aboard Ohio-class submarines.

After the NNSA finishes those programs, it will move on to modernizing the W87 warhead for use on future silo-based, Ground Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missiles, and modernizing the W80 warhead for use on future Long Range Standoff weapon air-launched cruise missiles.

The modernization regimes are intended to add decades more service time to the weapons, all of which are designs that have been in the field — with periodic maintenance — for at least 30 years.