Assistance in nuclear disarmament
The nuclear component of the G7 Partnership
Since the G8 Kananaskis Summit in 2002, France, within the framework of the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, has committed to support Russia in order to reduce the risks presented by the major arsenal which it inherited from the Cold War.
This commitment was nothing new for France : since 1992, under agreements to help dismantle nuclear weapons (known as "AIDA" agreements), French financing has helped to carry out the first studies to define the procedure for recycling Russian military plutonium into MOX fuel and to fund the equipment to be used for the dismantling of Russian nuclear weapons, such as storage buildings, machine tools and transport containers.
Under this Partnership, since 2002 France has allocated over €46 million to securing and evacuating spent nuclear fuels and dismantling nuclear reactors from two former Soviet submarines stored at the base in Gremikha, Russia. This support base, located 350km from Murmansk and only accessible via the sea, has not been used since the end of the Soviet era.
France has carried out other projects in the nuclear field : in the Russian Federation, on the site of the Zvezdochka shipyard near Arkhangelsk, it financed the renovation of a solid, low-intensity waste incinerator (almost €11 million) ; furthermore, 16 navigational beacons gaining their energy from radiological sources to strontium were dismantled and evacuated from the bank of the Baltic Sea at a cost of €3.1 million, while a project to secure and regroup radioactive sources disseminated in Ukraine cost €2.5 million.
Finally, still within the framework of the Global Partnership, in 2012-2013 France funded the repatriation and reprocessing of two high-intensity radiological sources located in Lebanon and Sudan.
À Poltava (aujourd'hui fermée en tant que base aérienne militaire), un ouvrier découpe le nez du dernier Tupolev-22M3 d'Ukraine, l'avion stratégique fabriqué sous l'ère soviétique et capable d'emporter des armes nucléaires (27 janvier 2006). Crédit photo = AFP Photo/Sergei Supinsky