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Nuclear Energy & 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.

17 Mar 2015

“I’m encouraged based upon where we were two or three years ago in terms of the big projects” said Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) as he wrapped up a hearing on the FY 2016 request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).   Alexander’s subcommittee and the counterpart House subcommittee held hearings on the overall NNSA request on March 4 and 11.

4 Feb 2015

The Obama Administration has requested an increase of 10.2 percent in the budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration in FY 2016.  Under this request, sent to Congress on Monday, the budget would increase from $11,399.0 million to $12,565.4 million.

11 Dec 2014

Congress is nearing completion of the FY 2015 appropriations cycle.  The House and Senate are scheduled to consider a $1.1 trillion bill providing funding through September 30, 2015 for all departments and agencies with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security that will be funded through early 2015.

6 Oct 2000

Reverberations are still being felt within the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories because of concerns about security. Last week, White House Science Advisor Neal Lane addressed a forum at the National Academies on "Scientific Communication and National Security." Selections from his address, entitled, "The New Security Environment," follow:

1 Jun 2000


Last month it appeared that General John A. Gordon's nomination to head the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) was on a fast track. His nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee had gone exceedingly well, with Gordon receiving much praise from committee members. At the conclusion of the hearing, committee chairman John Warner (R-VA) announced his intention to take the nomination to the floor quickly.

25 May 2000

General John A. Gordon's nomination hearing to head the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) took just one hour, with much of the time devoted to strong statements of support for the nominee. There was not a single word of reluctance expressed by any of the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee about Gordon's fitness to assume what is going to be the very challenging position of NNSA Administrator and Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security.

13 Jul 2000

  Today is General John Gordon's first full day of work since being formally sworn-in as the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). On Tuesday this week, Gordon appeared before a panel of the House Armed Services Committee to sketch-out some of his plans for the new agency.

3 May 2000

About a month ago, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) was the invited keynote speaker at the Nuclear Security Decisionmaker's Forum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was unable to attend because of pressing business on the Senate floor. In his prepared remarks, Domenici criticized the implementation plan for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), cited his concern about the National Ignition Facility, and described his intention to increase the Department of Energy's FY 2001 budget over that requested by the administration.

9 Mar 2000

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) was only a day old when Department of Energy Secretary Bill Richardson appeared before the House Armed Services Committee. The hearing was cordial, but it is clear that Richardson and some key House members still do not see eye-to-eye on the implementation of this new law.

11 Jan 2000

One issue that is sure to be on the front burner when Congress returns at the end of the month is the new semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). When Congress left Washington last fall, there was considerable consternation about the Clinton Administration's implementation of the NNSA provisions of the FY 2000 Defense Authorization Act. President Clinton designated DOE Secretary Bill Richardson to assume the interim duties and functions of the Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, a move that angered many Members of Congress.