Money for Bomb-Grade Tritium Production Included in White House Budget

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Plans for the Tennessee Valley Authority to possibly increase production of bomb-making tritium to a second nuclear plant are included in the U.S. Department of Energy's proposed budget.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the White House budget for 2011 includes funds for TVA to produce tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, at its Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Chattanooga.

TVA spokesman Terry Johnson said the utility has been producing tritium for seven years at its Watts Bar Nuclear Plant at Spring City, and the proposal would start production about 40 miles away at the Sequoyah plant, if needed.

The newspaper reports that the White House spending plan would boost funding for DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration by 13.4 percent, to $11.2 billion.