Cutting Too Deep: The Obama Administration’s Proposals for Nuclear Security Spending Reductions
July 30, 2014
Authors: Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
The Obama administration has proposed steep cuts in funding for improving security for dangerous nuclear materials—cuts which, if approved, would slow progress toward preventing the essential ingredients of nuclear bombs from falling into terrorist hands. In Cutting too Deep, Matthew Bunn, Nickolas Roth, and William Tobey review funding trends over the past four years and describe how the proposed cuts would delay nuclear and radiological material removals, research reactor conversions, and other important work. They recommend that Congress should act to reduce the scale of the proposed cuts by at least $100 million, and should consider other substantial increases in funding for nonproliferation programs. They call on the administration to increase its nuclear security budget request for the next fiscal year, and to adopt as a principle that no effort that shows promise of offering a significant and lasting reduction in the risk of nuclear terrorism should be slowed by lack of funds.
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