Earlier this year, both relevant House and Senate subcommittees decided to fully fund Non proliferation programs despite the current economic climate and competing funding demands.
However, the first Continuing Resolution passed at the end of September to fund the government through December 3 funded most government programs at FY 2010 levels, including programs to secure and safeguard nuclear weapons and materials.
In response, the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) put together a letter to members urging them to fully fun these crucial programs at FY-2011 levels. You can find the text to the letter below.
We urge you to support funding for threat reduction and nonproliferation
programs at FY 2011 requested levels in the next continuing resolution or
omnibus appropriations bill that Congress must pass to fund the
government. This funding is a necessary step to achieve the cooperative
international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear, chemical and biological
materials in the foreseeable future.
Most experts agree that the threat of nuclear terrorism is the greatest peril
facing our country today. Twenty countries are believed to possess bombgrade
nuclear material that is not secure. Nuclear security will require a
global effort, but U.S. leadership is critical.
In April 2010, the President convened an unprecedented Nuclear Security
Summit in Washington D.C. during which the leaders of 47 nations pledged
their support for the four-year goal and made promises to take concrete
measures toward achieving it. Numerous bipartisan reports have outlined
the urgency of the danger and warned that more needs to be done to ensure
that terrorists never obtain a nuclear weapon or materials usable for a
In FY 2011, the Obama administration requested $3.1 billion for
international WMD security programs, a $320 million increase over the FY
2010 budget. The FY 2011 request includes significant increases for key
threat-reduction and nonproliferation programs at the National Nuclear
Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Defense, including
the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the International Material Protection
and Cooperation Program, and the “Nunn-Lugar” Cooperative Threat
Earlier this year, both relevant House and Senate subcommittees decided to
fully fund these important programs despite the current economic climate
and competing funding demands.
However, the first Continuing Resolution passed at the end of September to
fund the government through December 3 funded most government
programs at FY 2010 levels, including programs to secure and safeguard
nuclear weapons and materials. This was a setback to efforts to prevent
nuclear terrorism because the overall funding request and congressional
appropriations for threat reduction in FY 2010 was actually less than the
amount Congress appropriated in FY 2009.
There is a bipartisan consensus that limiting access to vulnerable nuclear
weapons-usable materials will greatly reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.
The global financial cost and terrible destruction of a nuclear terrorist attack would dwarf the costs ofpreventing such an attack.
We urge you to ensure that threat reduction and nonproliferation programs at NNSA and the Department ofDefense are funded at the FY 2011 level for the remainder of the fiscal year. Our national security demands it.
Project on Managing the Atom
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Federation of American Scientists
Howard L. Hall
The University of Tennessee
Council for a Livable World
Daryl G. Kimball
Arms Control Association
Alan J. Kuperman
University of Texas at Austin
Partnership for Global Security
The Stanley Foundation
Global Green USA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Peter Wilk, MD
Physicians for Social Responsibility