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Nuclear weapons cost WHAT in 2016?

Posted by Theresa Shaffer on February 6, 2015

The federal budget request was released on time this year (for the first time in many years) on Feb. 2, 2015. Not surprisingly, the biggest chunk of our money is going to defense spending – roughly $534.3 billion out of the total one trillion dollar budget request. But how much of this is going towards nuclear weapons?

Unfortunately, a lot. Here’s a quick breakdown, thanks to Arms Control Association’s Kingston Reif:

Program FY2016 Request
Submarine replacement program $1.4 billion
Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) $1.25 billion
ICBM Follow-On (GBSD) $75.2 million
Air Launched Cruise Missile Follow-On (LRSO) $36.6 million
B61 Life Extension Program (tailkit) $212.1 million
National Nuclear Security Administration Weapons Activities $8.85 billion

Nuclear weapons should be on their way out the door according to President Obama’s 2009 Prague speech and the recent release of the 2015 National Security Strategy that states, “No threat poses as grave a danger to our security and well-being as the potential use of nuclear weapons and materials by irresponsible states or terrorists. We therefore seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

So if nuclear weapons pose more of a risk than an asset, why exactly is the government planning to spend $12.6 billion in 2016 to modernize our nuclear arsenal? These weapons don’t keep us safe from the threats of climate change, Ebola, or terrorists, so why do we keep investing more and more money into them when they don’t do anything to address the security threats we face today?

Our government needs to hear from us! As taxpayers, we should all be outraged that spending is going towards weapons of mass destruction when it could be going to fund research in national labs to save the planet, rather than risk destroying it.

Theresa Shaffer and Dr. Mohammed KhalidPSR staff Theresa Shaffer and Dr. Mohammad Khalid chair of the D.C. chapter headed to the White House to rally against modernization spending on January 31st. Global Zero hosted this rally to protest against plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion dollars over the next 30 years on modernizing our nuclear arsenal – that’s roughly $35 billion per year.

So now that you have the facts and are fired up about the budget, what can you do to change it?

  1. Write a letter to the editor! There are lots of articles in the media about the budget right now. Click here to learn how to write one if you’re not familiar.
  2. Join our webinar, “Wait…nukes cost how much?” on Feb. 25 @ 8 PM EST featuring Laicie Heeley, Policy Director at Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Register here.
  3. Watch out for an action alert to email your representatives in support of the SANE act (Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures).


Acsparkplug said ..

they will never go away we can only limit them

January 27, 2017
riyhu said ..


March 12, 2015
Martin Fleck said ..

Oh and they WILL be banned and eliminated. It is just a question of when.

February 27, 2015
Barbara Birkett said ..

These weapons must be banned and eliminated.

February 19, 2015

Comments closed.