France has a weapons program which began before 1970, and is still ongoing.
|Military Stocks of Fissile Material, end of 2003 (in tonnes)1|
|Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)||29 (±7)|
|Primary Military Stocks3||25|
|Assigned to Naval Propulsion||14|
1 From Global Fissile Material Inventories, June 2004.
2 The values in parentheses are the uncertainty ranges of the total estimated stock.
3 This category lists estimates of the primary military stocks that contain HEU, mostly weapon-grade, assigned to nuclear weapons, reserves, or slated for future use in naval propulsion, other military programs or civil reactors. In the case of the United States, some of this HEU will be sold or assigned to civil research reactors. This stock also does not include any HEU already declared excess to military requirements or already scheduled to be excess HEU, as in the case of Russia’s commitment to down blend 500 tonnes of HEU into LEU.
4 The bulk of France’s nuclear powered vessels used LEU fuel. However, one or two of its strategic submarines used HEU fuel. These submarines were reportedly designed to need only one refueling during their lifetime.
5 This category includes mainly HEU used in military production reactors.
6 The Celestin military production reactors use HEU fuel. Through the end of 2003, these reactors are estimated to have required about 5 tonnes of weapon-grade uranium fuel. Assuming a uranium 235 consumption of about 40 percent, the amount of irradiated HEU is estimated at 3.5 tonnes.