Arsenal shrinks, but costs grow

To maintain the current U.S. nuclear arsenal, the weapons stockpile, the nuclear processing and testing plants, and the launch systems are undergoing their most costly modernization ever. The number of warheads has dropped from a peak of 31,255 in 1967 to 5,113 today, but the cost of maintaining the aging stockpile has increased over time.Read related article.

SOURCE: Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Strategic Studies Quarterly Fall 2011. GRAPHIC: Todd Lindeman - The Washington Post. Published Sept. 16, 2012.

Aging U.S. nuclear arsenal slated for costly and long-delayed modernization

An aging arsenal.

The U.S. nuclear arsenal is set to undergo the costliest overhaul in its history, even as the military faces spending cuts to its conventional arms programs at a time of fiscal crisis.