President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget blueprint calls for an increase in funding of more than 13 percent for the agency that oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, said a Washington Post report. The $11.2 billion request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) represents a 13.4 percent increase for the agency from the previous fiscal year. Most agencies across the rest of the government saw either no increase in the spending plan announced this week or a single-digit percentage increase.
At the NNSA, the Obama administration is seeking a funding increase of 25 percent, to $2 billion, for the continued safety and surety of the nuclear weapons stockpile. That would ensure funds for the agency to reach full production of the refurbished Navy W-76 Trident submarine warhead, to refurbish the B-61 bomb, and to study options for maintaining the W-78, the warhead in the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.
In addition, the budget request provides for a 10.4 percent increase, to $1.6 billion, in funds for additional work in science and technology to enhance confidence in the annual certification of the nuclear stockpile. An additional $2 billion would go to the long-term program to upgrade weapons-complex facilities, including a new plutonium facility for the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a uranium manufacturing plant at Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Obama also requested $559 million for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, an increase of 68 percent from the previous year. This is to aid in bringing under control additional nuclear materials from overseas and to convert research reactors fueled with highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium.