Energy & Environment

Given the central role that physical scientists have traditionally played in the history of nuclear energy and weapons, FYI covers major developments in nuclear energy and weapons policy, particularly as they relate to ongoing science policy matters.

26 Sep 2019

Both the House and Senate propose substantial budget increases for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons R&D and nonproliferation programs, matching or exceeding the president’s request in many instances.

13 Aug 2019

The House and Senate have completed work on their respective versions of the annual legislation that updates U.S. defense policy. The bills include numerous proposals related to DOD’s research laboratories, innovation policy, nuclear weapons, research security, and climate change, among other areas.

30 May 2019

Worried about an impending wave of retirements at the national laboratories, House appropriations subcommittee chair Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) announced last week she is interested in supporting a broad initiative to train a new generation of elite scientists.

3 May 2019

The National Nuclear Security Administration proposes to ramp up funding for new plutonium experimentation and production facilities while paring back support for inertial confinement fusion in its latest budget request. Meanwhile, funding for nonproliferation programs would increase slightly overall.

21 Sep 2018

Within a 4 percent overall budget increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration, funding for most weapons and nonproliferation R&D programs will remain steady in fiscal year 2019. Congress rejected steep proposed cuts to inertial confinement fusion programs and greenlit development of a controversial new low-yield nuclear warhead.

17 Aug 2018

The latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act contains numerous provisions that aim to enhance innovation in defense technologies and combat foreign efforts to exploit U.S. R&D. It postpones a proposal to reform the relationship between the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Department of Energy.

20 Jul 2018

The new management team for Los Alamos National Laboratory represents a mix of continuity and change for the storied national security lab, which has been plagued by a series of safety mishaps in recent years.

3 Jul 2018

As the conference committee for this year’s iteration of the National Defense Authorization Act begins its work, conferees will navigate numerous proposals for changes in defense R&D and innovation policy.

7 Jun 2018

The fiscal year 2019 spending bills for the National Nuclear Security Administration advanced by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees reject the Trump administration’s deep proposed cuts to fusion research, accept its request to develop a new low-yield nuclear weapon, and split on whether to continue construction of a plutonium conversion facility that it wants to terminate.

6 Apr 2018

The final spending legislation for fiscal year 2018 raises the National Nuclear Security Administration’s budget by 13 percent to $14.7 billion, with most major R&D programs benefiting from the increase.

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