NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Expect Higher Costs For Lax Nuclear Security

June 10, 1999

China's acquisition of our nuclear technology secrets is likely to cost American taxpayers billions of additional dollars, experts warn.

  • In the wake of the Chinese espionage scandal, the House Armed Services Committee doubled its spending for Energy Department counterintelligence efforts to $31.2 million -- and other additional spending to beef up security is expected.
  • The Congressional Budget Office says that building missile defenses -- now that China has some missiles aimed our way -- could cost between $31 billion and $60 billion through 2010, not including funds to run the system.
  • Dan Goure of the Center for Strategic and International Studies sets the build-out costs of U.S. national missile defense from $10 billion to counter such nations as Iran to $50 billion to counter a Chinese threat.
  • Efforts to halt the proliferation of technology, materials and personnel to other countries will require additional funds, experts predict.

Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste asks: "Who knows how much of this (extra spending) could have been avoided if they had better security or better efforts to stop the leaks and stop the theft of the last 10 or 20 years?"

Source: Daniel J. Murphy, "Nuclear Waste's New Meaning," Investor's Business Daily, June 10, 1999.


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