Newsletter N° 19 (France)

A still rising trend

   A survey of the countries with large stocks of plutonium is easily done. Regarding the stocks of "civilian" plutonium, France takes the lead with around 78 tons (all figures in metric tons of heavy metal) at the end of 1999 (76 t in 1998) of which 37 t from foreign sources, ahead of the United Kingdom (72.5 t at the end of 1999). Bravo! They come neatly before the two record "military" plutonium holders: their stocks, as in their last declarations, end of 1997 for the United States, and end of 1999 for Russia (obviously more prompt in supplying data to the Vienna Agency) were of respectively around 45 t and 32 t of "civilian" plutonium. Only Japan has pulled off the exploit of storing almost 85% of its plutonium abroad. That is worth the jury’s special award!

Annual data on "civilian" plutonium per country
(in tons rounded for 100 kg)
Country Germany Belgium China United States Russian Federation France Japan United Kingdom Switzerland

Stock as of

31.12.97 31.12.99 31.12.98 31.12.97 31.12.99 31.12.98 31.12.99 31.12.99 31.12.99

1. Unirradiated separated plutonium in product stores at reprocessing plants

0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 30.9 52.0 0.5 69.5 0.0

2. Unirradiated separated plutonium in the course of manufacture or fabrication and plutonium in unirradiated products at fuel or other fabricating plants or elsewhere

0.3 2.5 0.0 < 0.05 0.0 11.8 3.1 0.8 0.0

3. Plutonium in unirradiated fuel or other fabricated products at reactor sites or elsewhere

3.9 1.4 0.0 4.6 0.2 6.8 1.2 2.2 0.6

4. Unirradiated separated plutonium held elsewhere *

1.8 0.0 0.0 40.4 0.9 5.3 0.4 0.0 < 0.05
TOTAL DISPOSED IN EACH COUNTRY
(This line does not exist in the official document)
6.0
3.9
0.0
45.0
32.0
75.9
5.2
72.5
0.6
 
Germany
Belgium
China
United States
Russian Federation
France
Japan
United Kingdom
Switzerland
(i) Plutonium included in lines 1-4 above belonging to foreign bodies.  
0.0
0.0
 
35.6
0.0
11.8
< 0.05
(ii) Plutonium in any of the forms in lines 1-4 above held in locations in other countries and therefore not included above.  
0.9
0.0
0.0
 
< 0.05
27.6
0.9
0.0
 
Germany
Belgium
China
United States
Russian Federation
France
Japan
United Kingdom
Switzerland

TOTAL BELONGING TO EACH COUNTRY
(This line does not exist in the official document)

? 4.8 0.0 45.0 ? 40.3 32.8 61.6 0.6

* : of which plutonium separated for research purposes
** : " Not to be communicated due to secrecy reasons "

Sources : Declarations of the Permanent Missions to the IAEA, published under the reference n°549 of the IAEA "Information Circular".

Estimated quantities of plutonium contained in spent fuel from reactors for civilian use
(in tons)
Country Germany Belgium China United States Russian Federation France Japan United Kingdom Switzerland

Stock as of

  31.12.99   31.12.97 31.12.99 31.12.98 31.12.99 31.12.99 31.12.99

1. Plutonium contained in spent fuel at civil reactor sites

  17   287 47 74.9 72 7 7

2. Plutonium contained in spent fuel at reprocessing plants

  0   0 4 83.4 1 39 0

3. Plutonium contained in spent fuel held elsewhere

  0   15 20 0.5 < 0.5 < 0.5 0

TOTAL
(This line does not exist in the official document)

  17   302 71 158.8 73 46 7

Sources : Declarations of the Permanent Missions to the IAEA, published under the reference n°549 of the IAEA "Information Circular".

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