Civilian HEU: France

Overview

France became a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1992 as a Nuclear Weapon State (NWS). France currently uses highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for both civil and military purposes. [1] However, it is reducing its reliance on HEU by converting some research reactors to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, planning to fuel future reactors with LEU, and gradually decommissioning other HEU-fueled reactors. France voluntarily declares its civilian HEU holdings to the IAEA as part of its annual declaration of plutonium stocks (INFCIRC/549). According to its most recent INFCIRC/549 declaration, France has 4.653 tons of civil HEU. [2]

HEU Production, Use, and Commerce

France was the first NWS to officially announce cessation of all its production of fissile material for nuclear weapons on February 22, 1996. By the end of June 1996 France had closed its Pierrelatte enrichment plant where weapons-grade HEU was produced. [3] France has two civil enrichment facilities, Georges Besse I and Georges Besse II, which exclusively produce LEU. [4]

By 2011, France had converted three critical assemblies and two reactors from HEU and to MOX fuels, and shut down three reactors and one critical assembly that had used HEU. However, France currently utilizes HEU in five research reactors, with one more under construction. These are: the Mascura Fast Critical Assembly, the Minerve Critical Assembly, the Neutronographie Phénix Critical Assembly, the Orphée Steady State, and the RHF Steady State. The Jules Horowitz Reactor (JHR) is a Steady State reactor under construction. [5]

France still imports HEU for civil uses. HEU is utilized to fabricate fuel for the RHF reactor and for the Belgian BR-2 research reactor in Mol, as well as to manufacture fuel rods for export. France also utilizes HEU in targets for medical isotope production. Spent HEU fuel reprocessing occurs at AREVA's La Hague site. [6]

France has purchased HEU from both Russia and the United States. In 1990, France bought 69 kg in HEU credits from the United States, [7] which under U.S. law required converting the RHF to use LEU fuel. [8] RHF is one of a select group of U.S. and European reactors known as High Performance Reactors, for which fuels are still in various stages of development. An agreement was reached between the ILL and the U.S. to convert the RHF as soon as the fuel became available. In 1996, France and Russia concluded the purchase of 625 kg of HEU, in which Russia agreed to provide 55 kg per year to be used by the RHF for a period of nine years, leaving 125 kg to be directed towards the Orphée facility. [9] After Russia started the HEU shipments, France decided not to obtain U.S. fuel. [10] By January 2004, a total of 627 kg of Russian HEU was delivered to France, which concluded the 1996 purchase agreement. [11]

U.S. HEU export laws loosened in 2005 with the passage of the Burr amendment. Prior to the Burr Amendment, a bill passed in 1992, the Schumer Amendment had conditioned that the U.S. sale of HEU must be accompanied by a commitment by the receiving country to convert reactors from HEU to LEU. As a result of the Burr amendment, in March 2010 France requested 160 kg of U.S. HEU to manufacture fuel for the RHF reactor at the ILL. Ultimately, in April 2012 the United States shipped 186.4 kg HEU to France. In February 2015, France issued another request for 130 kg of U.S. HEU. [12]

In October 2010, France received 93.5 kg of HEU from the U.S. to fabricate fuel for the Belgian BR-2 research reactor. In December 2014, France also requested 144 kg of HEU for fuel fabrication for the BR-2; the shipment is expected to take place in 2016. [13]

French companies have also obtained foreign-owned HEU for the fabrication of fuel rods, which are then exported to neighboring countries. France provided HEU fuel rods, enriched to 30%, for the Guinevere Test reactor in Belgium, which began operating in January 2012. [14]

In May 2012, France requested 5.8 kg of HEU for target manufacture by the Company for the Study of Atomic Fuel Creation (CERCA). Additional amounts of HEU were requested in December 2013 (of 7.3 kg), in September 2014 (of 4kg) and in February 2015 (of 7.8 kg). The Osiris reactor currently performs target irradiation for the production of the medical isotope Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). [15]

In September 2013, Russia's Rosatom agreed to supply HEU fuel for the Jules Horowitz Reactor located at the Cadarache Center. [16]

France also imports spent HEU fuel for reprocessing purposes. In January 1996, Areva NC signed an agreement with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) to receive spent fuel from the HIFAR research reactor. As of 2011, half of Australia's spent fuel had been reprocessed. [17] AREVA has also cooperated with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) since 1997. Under the contract, AREVA reprocesses the spent fuel from the Belgian BR-2 research reactor. This agreement was renewed in September 2014. [18]

Efforts to Eliminate or Reduce Civilian HEU

After receiving U.S. fuel credits in 1998, the French government pledged to convert its RHF reactor to LEU. [19] While France continues to examine methods of converting its RHF reactor to LEU, studies have indicated that the conversion could affect the reactor core's performance and emergency shutdown systems. [20] However, since 1999 relevant French authorities have started to develop U-Mo fuel with international assistance. [21] France believes that U-Mo fuels will allow it to sustain high performance levels, that is, high neutron flux levels, without the use of HEU. [22] In addition, France is part of the HERACLES Consortium (Highly Enriched European Reactors Action for their Conversion in a Low Enriched Solution). HERACLES is currently conducting research to better understand past experiments in high-density fuel development and plans to conduct further R&D for high-density fuel. [23]

During the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, France became part of a four-nation initiative to work alongside the U.S. Department of Energy in developing LEU-based U-Mo fuel for its RHF and Orphée reactors. This became a five-nation initiative at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. [24] Once fuels are developed for the RHF and Orphée reactors, France is likely to move forward on their conversion as pledged to the U.S. Department of Energy in 1998. [25]

In addition, during the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, France agreed to work with the United States, the Netherlands and Belgium in converting medical isotope production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) from HEU to LEU-based processes, "subject to regulatory approvals." [26] During the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, France reported the 2013 achievement of French company CIS-bio International, which was able to receive the necessary regulatory approvals, and successfully distribute non-HEU based Mo-99. [27] In the fourth and final 2016 NSS France was a signatory to a "Gift Basket" signed by twenty-two countries pledging to "make every effort" to progress towards the elimination and minimization of the use of HEU in civil applications. [28] In addition, France signed a Joint Statement with Belgium, Germany, the Republic of Korea, and the United States reaffirming its commitment to HEU minimization by pledging to cooperate on the further development and testing of high-density LEU fuel to aid in the conversion of reactors that continue to rely on HEU. [29]

In 2007, the CEA along with several organizations and international bodies, including the European Commission, signed the Consortium Agreement, an initiative to build the Jules Horowitz reactor (JHR) in Cadarache, Paris. The JHR is a new type of Material Testing Reactor for R&D programs and medical isotope production. [30] France examined the possibility of starting the JHR with an alternative silicide fuel that has a lower enrichment level than the 27% enriched silicide fuel employed in current tests, possibly making this a LEU research reactor. [31] However, due to the delay in the development of the new high-density LEU fuel, the JHR is expected to start up with 27% HEU. Rosatom will likely supply the fuel. [32] The reactor's first criticality is projected for 2016, with the first experiment slated for 2018. [33] Nonetheless, JHR Program Director Daniel Iracane emphasized France's decision to use LEU for the reactor after its startup. [34]

Due to the economic costs of reprocessing spent HEU, France will dispose of the reprocessed fuel as irradiated fuel. [35] In addition, the recovered foreign-HEU fuel imported for reprocessing purposes will be blended-down to LEU and the wastes returned to the country of origin. [36] France has reprocessed an estimated 425 kg of Belgian HEU, which is assumed to be blended-down and repatriated. [37] However, French efforts to repatriate eligible imported U.S.-origin fuel back to the U.S are to a certain extent implausible. [38] Instead, France, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are developing alternatives for the disposal of U.S.-origin fuel, which include states developing their own means of disposal. [39] National efforts to eliminate the use of civilian HEU are mirrored in France's efforts to shut down operations at Minerve and Orphée by 2019. [40]

At the international level, France has supported increased transparency of HEU stockpiles and continues to declare its civilian HEU stockpiles through its annual INFCIRC 549 submission to the IAEA. In its 2005 NPT Committee III statement, France asserted that it "is convinced that HEU stocks would benefit from the adoption of [disclosures similar to those on civil plutonium]." [41] With the United States, France has drafted HEU guidelines along the lines of the existing plutonium guidelines (INFCIRC 549), which include measures on transparency, physical protection, and good management of HEU. In 2012, France drafted a non-paper on these guidelines for the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. However, this paper was not included in the Summit's agenda. [42]

While the French government has been supportive of decreasing the use of civilian HEU, the French nuclear industry has voiced concerns. For example, in April 2008 an AREVA official concerned about the end of production of HEU at Western enrichment plants suggested that the company stockpile "large quantities" of HEU to ensure future availability for customers requiring HEU fuel. [43] Caroline Jorant, former Director for Nonproliferation and International Institutions in AREVA's International and Marketing Division, has emphasized the necessity of HEU fuel for high-power research reactors until new LEU fuel is developed. In her opinion, power reactors will one day need LEU fuel enriched as high as 9 to 10% U-235, which is far above the current LEU enrichment levels of 3-4%. [44] In a similar vein, AREVA's Jean-Francois Gervais argues that down-blending 93%-enriched material to 4.95% for light water reactor fuel is "a waste of resources." [45]

The French government will likely continue to support international efforts in reducing the use of HEU in civilian facilities, provided that the caveat, "as soon as technically and economically feasible," remains. [46] However, continued French imports of HEU will reinforce the view among supplier states that such materials continue to be economically valuable, thus delaying, or even risking future HEU minimization progress. [47] Although industry appears to have a difficult time accepting some HEU minimization efforts, it is likely that it will support the blend down of material to 20% U-235, after customers convert their facilities from HEU to LEU fuel.

Sources:
[1] It should be noted that although this article focuses on the civilian use of HEU by the French government, HEU is also used in French nuclear weapons and defense reactors, including research reactors and naval propulsion reactors. Unlike Russia and the United States, two NWS that employ HEU fuel in their naval reactors, France's newest submarines use LEU fuel, which can be recycled together with civilian nuclear fuel. For more information: CEA, "Direction des applications militaires," www-dam.cea.fr; Areva, "Nucléaire de Défense," www.areva.com. The 2014 report by the Institute for Science and International Security estimated French military stocks at 24 ± 6 tonnes. David Albright, Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, "Military Highly Enriched Uranium and Plutonium Stocks in Acknowledged Nuclear Weapon States: End of 2014," Institute for Science and International Security, November 3, 2015, http://isis-online.org; NTI, "Military Fissile Material Stockpile," July 2015, www.nti.org; NTI, "Country Profiles: France, Nuclear," May 2015, www.nti.org.
[2] "Communication Received from France Concerning its Policies Regarding the Management of Plutonium: Statements on the Management of Plutonium and of Highly Enriched Uranium," Information Circular, INFCIRC/549/Add.5/19, International Atomic Energy Agency, August 28, 2015.
[3] International Panel on Fissile Material, "Countries: France," February 4, 2013, http://fissilematerials.org.
[4] World Nuclear Association, "Nuclear Power in France," September 2015, www.world-nuclear.org.
[5] "Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors," Committee on the Current Status of and Progress Toward Eliminating Highly Enriched Uranium Use in Fuel for Civilian Research and Test Reactors, The National Academies Press, January 28, 2016.
[6] "La Hague: Recycling Used Fuel," AREVA, March 23, 2016, www.areva.com.
[7] In 2006, the ILL sold the American fuel credits to Belgium's Nuclear Research Center (SCK/CEN) to be used in its BR-2 research reactor in Mol. NuclearFuel, January 11, 1999, p.1; and NuclearFuel, June 17, 1996, p.1, as cited in Ann MacLachlan and Daniel Horner, "BR2 set to get U.S. HEU in 'credits' deal with ILL, DOE,"NuclearFuel, Vol. 31, No. 2, January 16, 2006; Pavel Podvig, "U.S. to supply HEU for the High Flux Reactor in France," International Panel on Fissile Materials, March 11, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org.
[8] Under the Comprehensive National Energy Policy Act and the Schumer Amendment to the Energy Policy of 1992, any foreign producers who receive HEU from the US is required to cooperate in converting to their facilities to LEU as soon as it is possible. "Conference Report on H. R. 776. Comprehensive National Energy Policy Act," Congressional Record-House: H12103, October 5, 1992, www.rertr.anl.gov; Pavel Podvig, "U.S. to supply HEU for the High Flux Reactor in France," International Panel on Fissile Materials, March 11, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org; Peter Lyons, "Minimizing the Use of HEU in Medical Isotope Production," presentation by the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, given at the Mo-99 Topical Meeting organized by the National Nuclear Security Administration, December 5, 2011, New Mexico, United States, p. 6, www.anl.gov.
[9] World Information Service on Energy, "Russian high enriched uranium for France," Nuclear Monitor, Issue 454, June 21, 1996, http://wiseinternational.org.
[10] Pavel Podvig, "U.S. to supply HEU for the High Flux Reactor in France," International Panel on Fissile Materials, March 11, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org. According to Ann MacLachlan's paper "Political Intervention Will Free Russian HEU, French Expect," there was some skepticism by the French government on the timeliness of the Russian HEU shipments. Ann MacLachlan, "Political Intervention Will Free Russian HEU, French Expert," NuclearFuel, July 14, 1997, p.8 as cited in Alan J. Kuperman and Paul L. Leventhal, "RERTR End-Game: A Win-Win Framework. Phasing Out Remaining Global HEU Commerce by Conditionally and Temporarily Renewing U.S. Exports of HEU," presentation given at the International Meeting on the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program, October 5-10, 1997, Wyoming, United States, www.nci.org.
[11] Ann MacLachlan and Daniel Horner, "BR2 set to get U.S. HEU in 'credits' deal with ILL, DOE," NuclearFuel, Vol. 31, No. 2, January 16, 2006; Pavel Podvig, "U.S. to supply HEU for the High Flux Reactor in," International Panel on Fissile Materials, March 11, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org.
[12] Pavel Podvig, "U.S. to supply HEU for the High Flux Reactor in France," International Panel on Fissile Materials, March 11, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org; Pavel Podvig, "U.S. reported to complete HEU shipment to France," International Panel on Fissile Material, April 2, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org; "United States to send 130 kg of HEU to France," International Panel on Fissile Material, February 18, 2015, http://fissilematerials.org.
[13] HEU shipments are in the form of broken metal. Pavel Podvig, "United States to send HEU to France for Belgian BR2 Reactor," International Panel on Fissile Materials, February 19, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org; Pavel Podvig, "NNSA requests license to supply HEU to Europe," International Panel on Fissile Materials, May 30, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org; "United States to supply HEU for Belgian BR2 reactor," International Panel on Fissile Materials, December 23, 2014, http://fissilematerials.org.
[14] The Guinevere facility was built with significant European cooperation (the CEA, the European Commission and ten European laboratories) for the purpose of serving as a demonstration model for an Accelerator Driven System (ADS), which allows a reactor to be shut down immediately by turning off the accelerator serving as the neutron source. The ADS is easy to control and safer, which aids at decreasing the polluting nuclear waste. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, "UINEVERE: Towards Cleaner Nuclear Energy," CNRS Press Releases, January 11, 2012, www2.cnrs.fr; Dirk Vandeplassche, Peter Baeten, "The Guinevere Experiment: a First Step on the Road to MYRRHA," ENS, No. 25 (Summer 2005), www.euronuclear.org. For information on the type of CEA fuel rods see: M. Baylac, "Some Highlights of Experimental ADS Programs in Europe," presentation given at the 1st International Workshop on Accelerator-Driven Sub-Critical Systems & Thorium Utilization, September 27-29, 2010, Virginia, United States, p. 19, www.phys.vt.edu.
[15] Target irradiation is also performed at the Belgian BR-2 reactor, the Dutch HFR Petten reactor, the Czech LVR-15 reactor and the Polish Maria reactor. Pavel Podvig, "United States to send HEU to France for Belgian BR2 Reactor," International Panel on Fissile Materials, February 19, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org; Federal Register, Vol. 75, No. 33, February 19, 2010, p. 7525; Pavel Podvig, "NNSA requests license to supply HEU to Europe," International Panel on Fissile Materials, May 30, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org; "Application for NRC Export or Import License, Amendment, Renewal, or Consent Request (s)," U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, License No. SNM3622/01, May 30, 2012; "United States continues to supply HEU to Europe," International Panel on Fissile Material, December 5, 2013, http://fissilematerial.org; Pavel Podvig, "United States to send more HEU to Europe for medical isotope production," International Panel on Fissile Material, September 22, 2014, http://fissilematerial.org; "U.S. HEU for medical isotope production in Europe," International Panel on Fissile Materials, February 24, 2015, http://fissilematerials.org.
[16] Pavel Podvig, "Russia to Supply HEU Fuel for French Research Reactor," International Panel on Fissile Material, September 18, 2013, http:// fissilematerials.org; International Atomic Energy Agency, "Research Reactor Database: France," October 25, 2013, http://nucleus.iaea.org.
[17] "Used Fuel Shipment from Australia to France," Areva, www.areva.com; Email Communication with Rob Floyd, Director General, Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation, March 12, 2013; Ann MacLachlan, "Foreigners own little spent fuel, more waste and Pu at La Hague," em>NuclearFuel, July 27, 2009; Email communication with Ann MacLachlan, Platts Nuclear Publications, May 15, 2008; Table 5 in Mycle Schneider and Yves Marignac, Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing in France, International Panel on Fissile Materials, April 2008, http://fissilematerials.org.
[18] "Areva La Hague: Renewal of Contract Used Fuel Management for Belgian Research Reactor," Areva, September 5, 2014, www.areva.com; Mycle Schneider, Shaun Burnie, "Belgium extends reprocessing contract with Areva on research reactor fuel," International Panel on Fissile Materials, September 8, 2014, http://fissilematerials.org.
[19] "Surprise: French research reactor converts to LEU," Nuclear Monitor, Issue 504, December 18, 1998, www.wiseinternational.org.
[20] Alain Ballagny, Patrick Lemoine, Sylvie Dubois, "Combustibles Pour Réacteurs de Recherche," CEA, December 2008, p. 128, www.cea.fr.
[21] These include the CEA, CERCA, COGEMA (currently known as AREVA NC), Framatome-ANP (currently known as AREVA NP) and Technicatome (currently known as AREVA TA).
[22] According to JHR head Daniel Iracane, France is "deeply" devoted to developing a low-enriched fuel for use in its research reactors that can be reprocessed. J.-M. Hamy, A. Languille, B. Guigon, P. Lemoine, C. Jarousse, M. Boyard, and J.-L. Emin, "Status as of March 2002 of the U-Mo Development Program," Transactions of the 6th International Topical Meeting on Research Reactor Fuel Management (RRFM 2002), Ghent, Belgium, March 17-20, 2002, pp. 33-39, www.euronuclear.org.
[23] "Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors," Committee on the Current Status of and Progress Toward Eliminating Highly Enriched Uranium Use in Fuel for Civilian Research and Test Reactors, The National Academies Press, January 28, 2016.
[24] During the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, the leaders of Belgium, France, the United States and the Republic of Korea made a joint statement to minimize HEU for civilian use. The four governments were later joined by Germany during the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. The White House, "Joint Statement on Quadrilateral Cooperation on High-density Low-enriched Uranium Fuel Production," delivered at the Nuclear Security Summit, Seoul, South Korea, retrieved from the Office of the Press Secretary, March 26-27, 2012, www.whitehouse.gov; The White House, "Joint Statement on Multinational Cooperation on High-density Low-enriched Uranium Fuel Production," delivered at the Nuclear Security Summit, The Hague, the Netherlands, retrieved from the Office of the Press Secretary, March 25-26, 2014, www.whitehouse.gov.
[25] The OSIRIS reactor was converted to use LEU qualified fuel in a process that started in 1994. However, it was already using "Caramel" fuel (7% UO2, Zircaloy) since the 70s; it was converted to streamline fuel usage rather than reduce enrichment levels. Alain Ballagny, Patrick Lemoine, Sylvie Dubois, "Combustibles Pour Réacteurs de Recherche," Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique, December 2008, p. 128, www.cea.fr.
[26] The White House, "Belgium-France-Netherlands-United States Joint Statement: Minimization of HEU and the Reliable Supply of Medical Radioisotopes," delivered at the Nuclear Security Summit, Seoul, South Korea, 2012, retrieved from the Office of the Press Secretary, March 26-27, 2012, www.whitehouse.gov; Michelle Cann, Kelsey Davenport, Sarah Williams, "The Nuclear Security Summit: Assessment of Joint Statements," Arms Control Association and Partnership for Global Security, March 2014, p. 16, www.armscontrol.org.
[27] "Déclaration nationale francaise", delivered at the Nuclear Security Summit, The Hague, Netherlands, 2014, retrieved from http://nuclearsecuritymatters.belfercenter.org.
[28] "NSS2016. Gift Basket on Minimizing and Eliminating the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civil Application," Nuclear Security Summit 2016, April 1, 2016.
[29] The reactors named in the Joint Statement are the BR-2 in Belgium, the RHF and RJH in France, FRM-2 in Germany and the MITR, MURR, NCNR, ATR, and HFIR in the United States. "Joint Statement on Multilateral Cooperation on High-Density Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel Development for High-Performance Research Reactors," Nuclear Security Summit 2016, April 1, 2016.
[30] J. Estrade, G. Bignan, X. Bravo, "The Jules Horowitz Reactor: a New High Performances European MTR (Material Testing Reactor) with Modern Experimental Capacities- Building an International User Facility," paper presented at the European Research Reactor Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, April 21-25, 2013, p. 1, www.euronuclear.org.
[31] Currently, a 4.8 gU/cm3 U3Si2 fuel is being used, but CERCA is qualifying a higher density (5.8 gU/cm3) fuel that could possibly be used in the JHR; however, more testing is required and performance may not be the same as with the 4.8 gU/cm3 fuel. Presentation: JHR Program Director Daniel Iracane, Technical Workshop on HEU Minimization in Oslo, June 18, 2006.
[32] Pavel Podvig, "Russia to Supply HEU Fuel for French Research Reactor," International Panel on Fissile Material, September 18, 2013, http://fissilematerials.org; International Atomic Energy Agency, "Research Reactor Database: France," October 25, 2013, http://nucleus.iaea.org.
[33] J. Estrade, G. Bignan, X. Bravo, "The Jules Horowitz Reactor: a New High Performances European MTR (Material Testing Reactor) with Modern Experimental Capacities- Building an International User Facility," paper presented at the European Research Reactor Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, April 21-25, 2013, p. 9, www.euronuclear.org.
[34] Presentation by JHR Program Director Daniel Iracane, "Jules Horowitz Reactor and LEU," Technical Workshop on HEU Minimization in Oslo, Norway, June 18, 2006.
[35] David Albright and Kimberly Kramer, "Tracking Inventories of Civil Highly Enriched Uranium," February 2005, Institute for Science and International Security, revised August 2005, pp. 10-11, http://isis-online.org.
[36] David Albright and Kimberly Kramer, "Tracking Inventories of Civil Highly Enriched Uranium," Institute for Science and International Security, February 2005, revised August 2005, http://isis-online.org; "Cogema's Inventory of Spent Fuel at La Hague," SpentFuel, January 30, 2006, p. 4.
[37] David Albright, Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, "Civil HEU Watch: Tracking Inventories of Civil Highly Enriched Uranium National and Global Stocks, as of End 2014," Institute for Science and International Security, October 7, 2015, pp. 7-8, http://isis-online.org.
[38] David Albright, Kimberly Kramer, "Tracking Inventories of Civil Highly Enriched Uranium," Institute for Science and International Security, February 2005, revised August 2005, pp. 10-11, http://isis-online.org.
[39] GAO Report GAO-05-57, "Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE Needs to Consider Options to Accelerate the Return of Weapons-Usable Uranium from Other Countries to the United States and Russia," November 2004.
[40] ASN, "Chapter 14: Nuclear Research Facilities and Various Nuclear Installations," December 15, 2012, p. 434, www.asn.fr; ASN, "ASN authorizes limited continued operation of the EOLE and MINERVE experimental reactors until 2019, provided that the installations undergo seismic reinforcements," News releases, December 19, 2014, www.french-nuclear-safety.fr; "Research reactors: France," International Panel on Fissile Material, December 12, 2014, http://fissilematerials.org.
[41] "Pour ce qui le concerne, mon pays est déterminé à poursuivre les efforts de transparence déjà entrepris, notamment en matière de sûreté. S'agissant des matières nucléaires, la France est membre du groupe des pays signataires des directives adoptées sur la gestion du plutonium civil et à ce titre elle publie annuellement l'état de ses stocks civils. Mon pays est également convaincu que la gestion des stocks d'uranium hautement enrichi gagnerait à l'adoption de directives similaires," www.un.int.
[42] Miles A. Pomper, Cole J. Harvey, and David A. Slungaard, "Toward the Global Norm: Supporting the Minimization of Highly Enriched Uranium in the Civilian Sector," Asan Institute for Policy Studies, June 23, 2011, www.asaninst.org.
[43] Ann MacLachlan, "Areva proposes secure storage to ensure some HEU for future use," NuclearFuel, April 7, 2008.
[44] Ann MacLachlan, "Areva proposes secure storage to ensure some HEU for future use," NuclearFuel, April 7, 2008.
[45] Ann MacLachlan, "Areva proposes secure storage to ensure some HEU for future use," NuclearFuel, April 7, 2008.
[46] "National Progress Report: France," presented at the Nuclear Security Summit, The Hague, Netherlands, March 25-26, 2014, retrieved from http://nuclearsecuritymatters.belfercenter.org.
[47] This mirrors analysis regarding a previous HEU shipment deal between Russia and France; see: Alan J. Kuperman, Paul L. Leventhal, "RERTR End-Game: a Win-Win Framework," a paper presented at the International Meeting on Reduced Enrichment for Research Reactors and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, October 5-10, 1997, www.nci.org.

April 26, 2016
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The article is part of a collection examining civilian HEU reduction and elimination efforts. It details current French HEU policies, progress reducing and eliminating the civil use of HEU in France, and remaining challenges.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2016.