The US government will spend an estimated $348 billion over the next decade to maintain, upgrade and operate its nuclear arsenal, according to a new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
That figure is slightly down from a Dec. 2013 estimate of $355 billion, but still represents an average price tag of $35 billion a year — major costs in an era when the Pentagon is focused on finding savings.
The Pentagon’s share of the $348 billion total is estimated at $227 billion, or about $6 billion more than the 10-year estimate published in 2013. The Department of Energy’s total has shrunk by $13 billion in the newer estimate, down to $121 billion.
The drop in overall cost is due in part to “budget-driven delays in several programs, including a three-year delay for the new cruise missile and its nuclear warhead and longer delays in some programs for extending the useful lives of nuclear warheads,” the CBO wrote in its report, released Thursday.