It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- President Obama's visit to the Energy Department Thursday was in danger of being overshadowed by a growing row over a proposal to strip the department of one of its crown jewels -- the agency that builds and guards the nation's nuclear weapons.
The White House Office of Management and Budget has asked officials to evaluate the costs and benefits of moving the National Nuclear Security Administration -- and the Los Alamos, Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories it owns -- to the Defense Department.
Most observers seemed uncertain of the proposal's origins or its objectives. Although there has been much discussion about the exact nature of the agency's relationship with the Energy Department, several previous studies have examined and rejected the idea of moving it into the Defense Department.
"The last group of thoughtful people who looked at that decided it wasn't a good idea," Linton Brooks, who led the agency until January 2007, told UPI, referring to a study published in December 2006 by the Defense Science Board.
One danger of such a move, he noted, would be that "the nuclear weapons program becomes a bill-payer" from which money is chiseled away for other needs. "How well would (the program's) niche capabilities fare" in such a huge department? he asked.