Congress Reaffirms No Funding for New Nuclear Warhead

U.S. lawmakers have, at least for now, shelved a Bush administration plan to develop a new nuclear warhead, the Albuquerque Journal reported yesterday (see GSN, Jan. 26).

The former president had sought funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead, a new design that advocates said would enable deep U.S. nuclear reductions by boosting confidence in the soundness of a smaller reserve arsenal.

Congress has repeatedly rejected the notion, and did so again in documents released Monday describing funding for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration. The budget for this fiscal year, released by the House Appropriations Committee and reflecting the views of both houses, prohibits spending on a new warhead while generally maintaining existing funding for the agency that manages the U.S. nuclear laboratories, the Journal reported.

"It seems that the RRW, as envisioned by NNSA, is dead," said Stephen Young of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "There's no doubt about that" (John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 24).

February 25, 2009
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U.S. lawmakers have, at least for now, shelved a Bush administration plan to develop a new nuclear warhead, the Albuquerque Journal reported yesterday (see GSN, Jan. 26).