The Making of French Nuclear Energy PolicyThrough the Relationship between Civilian and Military Use

2013 Transactions of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan  
The French history of nuclear development clearly shows the inseparability of its civilian use from military use. In France, Commissariat àa l' ÁEnergie Atomique (CEA) and ÁElectricit áe de France (EDF) have played an important role in research and development of nuclear technology since the postwar period. At rst, the two organizations had kept great autonomy, but the government reinforced its control on them because France needed nuclear deterrence against the Soviet Union. France began using
more » ... plutonium in 1952, and the Suez crisis in 1956 showed the need for nuclear force to ensure its independence. After this event, France managed theˆrst nuclear test using plutonium in 1960. As for enriched uranium, they have long had great di‹culty in securing it. The uranium enrichment technology became crucial also in civilian use in this period. EDF proposed the pressurized water reactor (PWR), which requires enriched uranium, as the future reactor type because of its economic advantage, but CEA wanted to continue developing the gas-cooled reactor (GCR) because of its independence in nuclear fuel supply. Finally, they chose PWR because a French enrichment facility was built in 1967. From such French history, we can say that the civilian and military use of nuclear technology are inseparable.
doi:10.3327/taesj.j12.027 fatcat:pdxzc7fptjcmvjicvenf676upe