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News Review Special Edition

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International Developments, November 15, 2002 - February 1, 2003

US Energy Department Requests Record Non-Proliferation Funding

On January 29, US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham unveiled details of an "unprecedented level of funding" for non-proliferation projects in the Department's upcoming budget request for FY 2004. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, Abraham announced he would be seeking funding of $1.3 billion, a 30 percent increase from the FY 2003 request. Seen in conjunction with the G-8's Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, Abraham argued, the FY '04 request demonstrated, "better than anything that has come before, how far this nation is prepared to go individually and collectively to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and materials."

The great bulk of the Department's efforts will be spent on non-proliferation assistance to Russia. In Abraham's summation:

Thanks to the unprecedented levels of cooperation achieved by presidents Bush and Putin, and with the funding in our '04 budget, we will be able to:

  • Begin building the facilities that will make plutonium disposition a reality
  • Begin the work to shut down Russia's plutonium reactors
  • Implement a modest new program to purchase additional Russian uranium derived from nuclear weapons for use in a US strategic reserve.
  • Continue to improve security at critical Russian nuclear sites, including an additional 1200 Russian Navy warheads, and
  • Improve Russian border security to reduce the risk of illicit nuclear trafficking.

Further, by the end of FY 2004, security work will have started on nearly all of the 600 estimated metric tons of weapons-attractive materials in Russia. We expect to complete most of the work over the next few years - in many cases ahead of previous schedules."

The Department's detailed budget submission, presented to Congress on February 3, contained the following details of the funding sought under the National Nuclear Security Administration's 'Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation' budget item: "Just over $1 billion of the $1.3 billion request is sought for non-proliferation assistance to Russia. Of this, $656 million is requested for 'Fissile Materials Disposition', a jump of 46.5 percent on the FY '03 request. The second biggest program under this heading is 'International Nuclear Materials Protection and Cooperation', for which $226 million is requested, a decreases of 0.5 percent. ... There are two major non-Russian items: 'Non-Proliferation and Verification R&D', for which $203 million is requested, virtually identical to last year; and 'Non-Proliferation and International Security', for which $101 million is requested, an increase of 9.8 percent."

Related material on Acronym website:

Reports: Energy Department to seek 30 percent increase in non-proliferation funds, Global Security Newswire, January 29; Text - Non-Proliferation a top US priority, Energy Secretary says, Washington File, January 30; Secretary of Energy unveils DOE '04 Budget, US Department of Energy Press Release PR-03-027, February 3; FY 2004 Budget Request, released February 3, US Department of Energy website.

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© 2002 The Acronym Institute.