Presentation and position of France [fr]
The ending of fissile material production for nuclear weapons is a priority for France and at the core of the nuclear disarmament process, with the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The CTBT has indeed established a limit to the qualitative development of nuclear weapons, and the Treaty prohibiting the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, the Cut off Treaty, will establish a quantitative limit as a whole for nuclear arsenals, legally binding and with a universal scope. The Cut off treaty and the CTBT must enable to realize the qualitative and quantitative freeze of the nuclear arsenals, necessary to the pursuit of disarmament efforts.
This is why France is, since almost fifteen years, strongly engaged in favour of the negotiation of a treaty forbidding the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, the Cut off Treaty. It is one of the French proposals on disarmament, as it has been announced by the President of the Republic in his Istres statement on the 19th of February, 2015. It is also one of the priorities identified in the final document adopted by consensus by the Review Conference of the NPT in 2010. It is within this framework that France presented to its partners a draft treaty prohibiting the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The text has been tabled on the 9th of April 2015 as an official document of the Conference on Disarmament. It has also been submitted, as a working paper, to the 9th Conference of the State-parties in charge of examining the Non-proliferation Treaty (New York, from the 27th of April to the 22nd of May, 2015).
France has set an example for a long time.
France stopped, since 1992, its production of plutonium for its nuclear weapons and took a similar measure in 1996 about highly enriched uranium. The state also implemented a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
France is the first state to have decided in 1996 to close and dismantle its Pierrelatte and Marcoule facilities dedicated to the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
The Marcoule reprocessing plant ceased its activity on fuels for Defence in 1993 and definitively stopped at the end of 1996. The dismantlement operations of the facility are in progress. The final closure and the dismantlement of the factory of uranium enrichment of Pierrelatte have been decided in 1996 and implemented instantly. This dismantlement is still in process today.
The dismantlement of these facilities is irreversible, as the representatives of the member States to the Conference on Disarmament, non-government experts and journalists have been able to witness during the visits of these facilities organized in 2008 and 2009 by France. France does not have today facilities producing fissile material for nuclear weapons.
France participates to the Non-government Experts Group created by the resolution 67/53. France considers that detailed talks on fundamental elements of a treaty usefully contribute to prepare the negotiation of an international legally binding instrument. France calls to the commitment without delay of such a negotiation.
As of now, France calls too all the concerned States to strictly respect an immediate moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and to permanently shut down and, as far as possible, to convert for civil use or to dismantle its facilities of production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Source : France TNP