Jeffrey LewisRNEP Correction

The Washington Post corrected its 1 Febuary 2005 story about the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP). The Post

… incorrectly reported that the Bush administration is expected to seek $10.3 million in next year’s budget for that purpose. The official amended his information to say that sum is what the government has spent on the project since 2002. He said he could not provide a figure for future spending until the budget is released next week.

The budget should be out in a few days, but here is what DOE planned to spend over FY2005-2009 before Representative Hobson laid the smack down:

RNEP Funding, 2005-2009 (Thousand Dollars)

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
27,557 94,955 145,371 128,431 88,416

I would be surprised if the FY 2006 Request diverged from this workplan, simply delayed by one year.

Administration officials sometimes claim the request only funds “paper studies.” That is true for the 2005-2006 funds, but the funds projected for 2007-2009 include money for “development engineering” and “production engineering.”

Asked about the presence of money for development, NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks testified that out year projections are a “place holder” should the Administration and Congress choose to build RNEP.


  1. Stephen Young (History)

    Re: your quote for the future budget for RNEP “simply delayed by one year.”

    Now we already now the truth (the request is sharply down for this and future years), but I could have told you beforehand: there was NO way DOE was going to stay public with planned half a billion for developing RNEP. John Harvey was furious that the program was attacked for such huge numbers when he felt he was merely saying “IF we go ahead with full development, this would be the budget.” He was very clear, at a public conference, that he will never again provide full costs for future plans in any budget. Of course, he should, and Congress should direct him to do so.