U.S. nuclear forces could cost about $494 billion during a 10-year period if current plans are followed, according to theÂ nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The CBO is required by law to estimate the 10-year costs every two years.Â The new estimate is $494 billion for work between 2019 to 2028, the CBO said in a report published this month. That’s an average of just under $50 billion a year.
The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge participates in the nuclear weapons work along with other U.S. Department of Energy sites and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The CBO said nuclear weapons have been an important part of U.S. national security since they were developed during World War II.Â Oak Ridge was the main production site for the top-secret project to build those first weapons, and Y-12 continues to work on nuclear weapons. One modernization program for the W76-1 warhead was recently completed, and another for the B61-12 bomb has started.
The CBO saidÂ nuclear forces were central to U.S. defense policy during the Cold War, and a large arsenal was built. [Read more…]