Obama’s New Budget Increases Funding for Nuclear Weapons Production Facilities; Cuts Dismantlements

In the new budget request for 2011 the Obama Administration proposes to freeze discretionary domestic spending for programs such as education, nutrition, air traffic control and national parks for three years while dramatically increasing funding for new US nuclear weapons production facilities. Meanwhile the proposed budget for dismantling warheads retired from the stockpile is down by 40%. Funding for a new nuclear facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory to be used in direct support of plutonium pit production, the CMRR-NF, is increased to $225 million requested from $97M in FY10 (+132%). After FY11, funding is proposed to triple the FY10 amount to $300 million for each of the following four consecutive years.

Funding for a new “Uranium Processing Facility” (UPF) at the Y12 production plant near Oak Park Ridge, TN, is proposed to increase to $115M from $94M in FY10 (+22%). However, its big money is in the following four consecutive years, climbing to $320 million by 2015 (in all a 240% increase from FY10 funding). Totals costs for both the CMRR and UPF are still “TBD” [To Be Determined], meaning they don’t know, but each will probably cost $3 billion or more.

Outside of the federal budget, groundbreaking is expected this Spring on a new privately-financed ~$700 million Kansas City Plant for nonnuclear components production for US nuclear weapons, subsidized by Kansas City municipal bonds. This pretty well spans the spectrum of future US nuclear weapons production, with big increases for new facilities for plutonium, uranium and nonnuclear components. At the same time, the Obama budget proposes to cut dismantlement from $96.1 million in FY 2010 to $58 million.

Obama is preemptively surrendering to the nuclear weapons labs, the for-profit private corporations running those labs, and the 2/3rd’s Senate majority including Republicans needed for treaty ratifications. All of these special interests explicitly seek to extract more taxpayer funding for nuclear weapons programs in exchange for ratification of a renewed bilateral arms control treaty with Russia and a long-sought-for Test Ban Treaty.

We went through this a decade ago, when the nuclear weapons complex got billions of dollars and but ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty failed. History is getting ready to repeat itself, this time with the nuclear weapons labs seeking the capability to produce future new-design weapons. Obama’s new budget begins to give them just that, welfare for warheads that can’t be used while American public needs are not adequately met.

13 thoughts on “Obama’s New Budget Increases Funding for Nuclear Weapons Production Facilities; Cuts Dismantlements”

  1. Devin, thank you for your comment. However we feel about the budget sending more money to the Labs, we do still have hope for some real change in the Nuclear Posture Review, due out soon. Sources say the first draft (referred to as “Bush Lite”) was returned to the authors as it did not reflect closely enough the Obama/Biden agenda for reducing the number of nuclear weapons and more specifically defining circumstances for their use.

  2. Barack Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” shows a catchy title. It has an idea of bravery mixed confidently. There is nothing Pollyanna about this. I may not support everything he tells, but he’s our president, as well as for me, he creates trust. Which can do more for a country than any amount of backroom deals. Hope gives us energy, and energy sustains us through trying times. Boy, we’ve had them. I’m from West Texas, and I did not vote for Bush. When McCain ran against Obama, I was a citizen of Arizona, but I gave audacious hope a chance. The fight for progress and laying the foundations of prosperity will not be over. I’ve come across the quips of those who don’t think Obama is capable of doing it. But step back a second. Would anyone have most of us fail only to tarnish the star of an incumbent for whom they did not vote? Keeping our priorities straight, let’s work together with our president and build our future.

  3. Holy mother, this is what he calls hope? He has walked away from his promise of a nuclear free world. What shame. What utter failure. At least we expected Bush to be a complete failure, but Obama has lost everything with his continued failings. Its up to the people to create a new america now.

  4. Thanks, saw you on Democracy Now. I appreciate your work and will be sure to keep posted. I am amazed how we have the microscope on Iran threatening more sanctions or even military strikes, even though they are open to inspections and largely if not fully compliant with the NPT. Meanwhile,we don’t even try to comply with the NPT, best I can tell. Just words. Well Iran’s words are in compliance, too.

    I am also shocked at the DoE budget and how it is all about the nukes.

Comments are closed.