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Estimated 1998 Spending on U.S. Nuclear Weapons and Weapons-Related Programs

The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project was completed in August 1998 and resulted in the book Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 edited by Stephen I. Schwartz. These project pages should be considered historical.


(in billions of current dollars) 1

Department of Defense

    • Strategic nuclear forces — $7.5
    • Tactical nuclear and dual-capable forces — $1.0
    • Command, control, communications, and intelligence — $6.0
    • Operation and maintenance — $4.0
    • Research and development — $.400
    • Defense Special Weapons Agency — $.300

Department of Energy

  • Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program — $4.3
  • Other defense programs (safeguards and security, intelligence, verification and arms control technology, nonproliferation, security investigations, fissile material control and disposition, worker transition) — $.968
  • Naval nuclear propulsion — $.335

Subtotal operational nuclear forces — $24.8


  • Department of Justice
  • Radiation Exposure Compensation Act payments —$.030
  • Subtotal cold war legacies — $5.9

Department of Defense

Copyright © 1998 The Brookings Institution

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