The White House has officially proposed $1 billion in additional funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in fiscal 2018, almost all of it for the agency’s weapons activities account.
The Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday released President Donald Trump’s spending request for the budget year beginning Oct. 1, which would grant the Energy Department $28 billion – down from the $31 billion it currently receives under the fiscal 2017 omnibus spending bill signed into law earlier this month. Of that, it would direct $13.9 billion to the semiautonomous NNSA – 7.8 percent, or $1 billion, over the omnibus level.
Trump’s budget would provide $10.2 billion for NNSA weapons activities, the account that includes the agency’s life-extension programs for the W88, B61, W76, and W80 warheads; research, development, test, and evaluation in support of the stockpile; and infrastructure projects. This represents a nearly $1 billion, or 10.8 percent, spike over the currently enacted level. Of that amount, $4 billion would go toward directed stockpile work – the life-extension programs – and $2.8 billion toward infrastructure and operations for recapitalization of the weapons complex.
The budget directs $1.8 billion for defense nuclear nonproliferation operations to secure or eliminate nuclear and radiological materials worldwide and prevent the terrorist acquisition of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material. This represents a $100 million decrease from the present level.
The agency would receive $1.5 billion for naval nuclear propulsion work – 4.2 percent above the currently enacted $1.4 billion – including development of reactor technology and operation of reactors in nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. The budget grants $418.6 million for the NNSA’s federal salaries and expenses, 8 percent above the omnibus level of $390 million, and estimates 1,715 direct civilian full-time equivalent employees next year.
The NNSA’s budget request “includes long overdue investments to repair and replace aging infrastructure at our national laboratories and production plants, and to provide modern and more efficient workspace for our highly-talented scientific, engineering, and professional workforce,” agency Administrator Frank Klotz said in a statement.