The Energy Department is proposing an $81 billion, 20-year program to clean up and modernize the nation's troubled nuclear weapons production complex.
"The cost of modernization and environmental restoration will require a significant increase in funding for the next two decades," said an Energy Department report for delivery to Congress.The $81 billion total includes $52 billion to modernize outdated facilities, some of which are more than 30 years old, while $29 billion would go toward efforts to deal with radioactive and chemical contamination at many sites throughout the weapons complex.
The long-range plan would involve building new facilities in South Carolina and Idaho as well as phasing out weapons production activities in Washington state, Colorado and Ohio.
The Energy Department has refused to release any portions of the classified document, known as the "2010 Report" because it looks ahead as far as the 2010 fiscal year.
Gail Bradshaw, deputy chief spokesman for the department, said this week the department could not release the report's unclassified executive summary until it had received permission to do so from the National Security Council.
Energy Secretary John S. Herrington said Dec. 22 the next administration faces "hard choices" in dealing with the problems of the nuclear weapons complex.