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Compliance Study: France

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" We stress the necessity of further progress in the establishment of relevant domestic legislation and in the enhancement of the international regime of nuclear liability as well as in the preparation of an international convention on the safety of radioactive waste management."

Grade: +1

In recent years, the G7 Heads of State have emphasized the need to address the issue of nuclear safety and security by placing it on the Summit agenda. The Naples Summit of 1994 resulted in a commitment by the G7 to earmark $200 million (US) for the purpose of permanently closing the Chernobyl reactor site by the year 2000. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Ukrainian President in Moscow in April of 1996 confirmed that his government would fulfill this task. At that time, President Kuchma emphasized that the success of this task would depend on the aid, technical assistance, and political support of the Ukraine's larger, more wealthy allies.

In the past year, France became the first of the G7 countries to contribute it's share of the promised money (amounting to 54 million ecu's).

With regards to radioactive waste, France hosted a 28-31 October 1996 meeting of international experts, called for at the Moscow Summit, designed to identify and evaluate technical options for safe disposal. This group also examined the implications of such approaches as nitrification and civil reactor consummation in terms of non-proliferation, and the effects of disposal on the environment.

On 15 September 1996, France was one of 26 states to ratify the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

The French Foreign Minister, M. Herve de Charette, reported to the Assemblee Nationale on 20 May 1996 on a transparency exercise regarding Russian stocks of plutonium that are of international concern. Participants included the G7, Russia, China, Switzerland and Belgium. Both Russian and French representatives have expressed positive results with regards to their cooperative efforts to reduce fissile materials stocks in Russia. France's diplomatic expertise and high quality technical knowledge are sources of pride to the Chirac Government.

France's work in hosting international gatherings on this subject, participation in IAEA activities and projects, in addition to its bilateral work with the Ukraine and Russia indicate definitive adherence to the Lyon commitment outlined above. France receives a grade of +1 for nuclear safety and security.

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