The Obama administration is considering moving nuclear weapons production management from the Energy Department to the Pentagon, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
The change, which the report said would end more than 60 years of civilian control over nuclear bomb manufacture, would be meant to let the Energy Department focus more on energy research, production and conservation, the Times said.
The White House has ordered the two departments to looks at costs and benefits of transferring two national laboratories that design weapons, the site in Nevada where they can be tested, as well as all or part of four plants that build and maintain bombs and store weapons fuel, the Times said.
The idea was contained in a document the White House Office of Management and Budget sent the two departments, a copy of which was obtained by the newspaper. The departments have a September 30 deadline for completion of the study, the Times said.
Oversight of cleanup of polluted weapons plants would remain with Energy, the Times said.
Officials from the Energy Department had no comment, it said.