Monday, February 13, 2006

NNSA mulls weapons, research

ROGER SNODGRASS, roger@lamonitor.com, Monitor Assistant Editor


Editor's note: This is the second part of a two-part series on the National Nuclear Security Administration's evolving plans for the nuclear weapons complex. Part one, last Sunday discussed the agency's consolidation plans. This article is about the revised nuclear weapon that has emerged as the catalyst for transforming the system.

For a relatively minor item in a $9.1 billion weapon's agency budget request, the Reliable Replacement Warhead has inspired a wide interest since it quietly became an item in the nuclear weapons budget last year.

Next year's request will be $27.7 million, according to DOE fact sheets which would represent an increase of $2.7 million over current levels.

The reasons for the scrutiny have to do with uncertainty and change, but also with concerns about just how new and how reliable the RRW will be.

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