Nuclear Energy and Weapons

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.

October 1, 2021

Climate change, the pandemic, and emerging technology governance were major themes of President Biden’s first address to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21. Meanwhile, a series of high-level meetings have set the stage for more intense technology cooperation between the U.S. and partner nations.

NIF Target Capsule
August 20, 2021

House and Senate appropriators largely match the administration’s topline request for the National Nuclear Security Administration for fiscal year 2022 but reject proposed cuts to weapons stockpile science programs while slashing funding for the Stockpile Responsiveness Program.

July 7, 2021

Within a flat overall budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Biden administration proposes to ramp up funding for plutonium production while paring back certain stockpile R&D activities, such as inertial confinement fusion.

April 30, 2021

President Biden has nominated former Sandia National Labs Director Jill Hruby and nuclear weapons policy expert Frank Rose to take the top two positions at the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Energy agency responsible for maintaining the U.S. nuclear warhead stockpile.

March 9, 2021

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 authorizes major new initiatives in advanced technologies and makes an array of policy updates aimed at bolstering U.S. private-sector innovation, the defense STEM workforce, and the environmental resilience of military infrastructure and operations.

January 29, 2021

The National Security Administration budget is surging by $3 billion to nearly $20 billion for fiscal year 2021, with most of the increase directed to modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and associated infrastructure.

October 30, 2020

The Trump administration’s proposed budget surge for the National Nuclear Security Administration is facing headwinds in Congress, with Democrats increasingly questioning the scope and pace of its plans to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise.

September 9, 2020

The House and Senate versions of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act make significant policy proposals for the National Nuclear Security Administration as well as for the Defense Department’s missile defense and space technology development efforts.

April 17, 2020

The budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration would continue its recent rapid rise under the Trump administration’s latest proposal for the agency, jumping 18% to just under $20 billion.

February 6, 2020

The budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration is continuing its recent rapid rise, with the latest appropriation supporting major new plutonium research and production initiatives while rejecting a proposal to pare back the inertial confinement fusion program.