Geiger Readings for Sep 14, 2018

Latitude 47.704656 Longitude -122.318745

Ambient office  = 66 nanosieverts per hour

Ambient outside = 94 nanosieverts per hour

Soil exposed to rain water = 97 nanosieverts per hour

Currents from Central Market = 76 nanosieverts per hour

Tap water = 80 nanosieverts per hour

Filter water = 75 nanosieverts per hour

Nuclear Weapons 356 - Congress Considering Funding For Maintenance And Modernization Of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal

        Congress is considering a nuclear weapons budget that contains four hundred and fifty-eight million dollars more in 2019 than was allocated in 2018. The compromise funding bill that was released from a conference committee on Monday. The Department of Energy will receive forty-four billion six hundred million dollars according to the plan. Eleven Billion one hundred million dollars of the DoE allocation will go to the National Nuclear Security Administration which is a semiautonomous office in DoE with oversight over the U.S. stockpile of nuclear warheads.
       One billion nine hundred and twenty million dollars will be dedicated to funding life-extension programs for nuclear weapons. This supports the NNSA mission to sustain and upgrade U.S. nuclear weapons and their supporting infrastructure as called for in the latest Nuclear Posture Review from the Trump Administration. There are some remaining questions about whether and how the NNSA five major modernization programs will be funded in the future.
       The appropriation bill is considered by analysts to be a “win” for President Trump who wanted to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He asked for a seventeen and a half percent increase in the NNSA above their funding for 2018.
       The bill includes sixty-five million dollars for the low-yield, submarine launched ballistic missile which has been controversial. This program involves the modification of the W76-1 warhead currently used on the U.S. Navy’s Trident II D5 ballistic missile into what will be referred to as the W76-2 warhead.
        The compromise bill retained the wording of the House version which required the NNSA to produce a report with details of the plan, rationale, costs and implications attached to the production of a low-yield version of the W76. The report will need to include estimation of the long-term maintenance costs of the program as well as possible impacts or program delays. Congress has not yet announced a compromise on the spending package that includes the Department of Defense’s request for twenty-two million six hundred thousand dollars in 2019 to complement the development work of the NNSA on the W76-2.
      The bill also requested reports on the cost of the IW-1 Life Extension Program, which is aimed at creating an warhead that is interoperable for different systems. Those costs will be compared to the cost of refurbishing the existing W78 warheads. There will also be other reports of costs associated with W78 program, A rough estimate must be sent to Congress within sixty days after the bill is signed into law with a full cost report due one hundred and eighty days after the bill is signed.
       The Nuclear Posture Review was released this February. It calls for the development of two new nuclear weapons and heavy investment in the infrastructure necessary to support the nuclear arsenal. A report by the Government Accountability Office last year warned that there were five major modernization program that will be underfunded in the plans for future years.
       If the Democrats take back control of the House in the coming mid-term elections, it could have a major impact on nuclear weapons funding. Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington state said last week that nuclear weapons funding is the number one difference between the two political parties. He said, “I think that the Republican party and the Nuclear Posture Review contemplates a lot more nuclear weapons than I, and I think most Democrats, think we need. We also think that the idea of low-yield nuclear weapons are extremely problematic going forward and that when we look at the larger budget picture, that’s not the best place to spend the money.”
      The Congressional Budget Office estimated last year that the cost of U.S. nuclear forces over the next thirty years will be about one trillion two hundred billion dollars. Eight hundred billion dollars will be spent to operate and perform incremental upgrades. About four hundred billion dollars will be spent to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Geiger Readings for Sep 13, 2018

Latitude 47.704656 Longitude -122.318745

Ambient office  = 88 nanosieverts per hour

Ambient outside = 87 nanosieverts per hour

Soil exposed to rain water = 94 nanosieverts per hour

Mango from Central Market = 86 nanosieverts per hour

Tap water = 93 nanosieverts per hour

Filter water = 79 nanosieverts per hour