SWDR: FRANCE: WEAPON-GRADE PLUTONIUM FROM SPENT-POWER REACTOR FUEL

Created: 10/20/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

rKAjgi: UALIi; Pl.UTuNI

laser iaotopc separation procrts bt jr.; studied to accomplish tall goal and. If suaoisful, may allow France to obtain greater quantities of weapon-grade plutoiilun for anticipated increases in autenic and tactical nuclear weapon* and alto allow uneconomical ^preductlorr' reactors to be retired.

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OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC AND WEAPONS RESEARCH

Science and Weapons Daily Review

CTOBER1

FRANCE I WEAPON-SHADE PLUTONIUM PROM SPENT-POWER REACTOR FUEL

Perhaps In anticipation of increased weapons requirements, Franca ia working toaaer Isotope separation process to obtain weapon-grade

power

r-

Plutonium Iron tha spent fuel of! commercial reactora. If successful, it nay bo capa producing considerably note weapon-gred

now obtains by operating "production" rtactots. Prance could exercise the option gf retiring these reactors for ecor.oolc reasons.

'President Hittarrand ar:

Letoy recar.tiy stated that Franca Intends to Modernise Its strategic deterrent and Ita tactical nuclear arms. This My require additional plutonlun (or the military. Normally, weapon-grade plutonlua la produced by Irradiation of natural uranluaroduction reactorhort period. It la than removed and reprocessed to extract tha plutonium. I

Commercial light-water power reactora are tha predominant type now in operation and coming on-line In France. The La Hague conmercial fuel reprocessing plant la processing spent fuel fro* those reactora and will continue to accumulate extracted plutonlun. This plut.i owever, is only satisfactory for use as fast-braader reactor fuel or for recycling In light-water reactors; it le not desirable for use In

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