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Nuclear-armed state (NATO)

France has the world's fourth largest nuclear arsenal. In 2022, it again demonstrated that it lacks the will purposefully to pursue nuclear disarmament. It remained unwilling to adhere to or engage constructively with the TPNW.

TPNW Status

Nuclear warhead inventory at the beginning of 2023
Total inventory of warheads 290
Retired warheads 0
Stockpiled warheads 290
Estimated yield (MT) 29
Hiroshima-bomb equivalents 1993
TPNW Article 1(1) prohibitions: Compatibility in 2022
(a) Develop, produce, manufacture, acquire Not compatible
Test Compatible
Possess or stockpile Not compatible
(b) Transfer Compatible
(c) Receive transfer or control Compatible
(d) Use Compatible
Threaten to use Not compatible
(e) Assist, encourage or induce Not compatible
(f) Seek or receive assistance Not compatible
(g) Allow stationing, installation, deployment Compatible
TPNW voting and participation
UNGA resolution on TPNW (latest vote) Voted no (2023)
Participated in 1MSP (2022) No
1MSP delegation size (% women) N/A
Adoption of TPNW (7 July 2017) N/A
Participated in TPNW negotiations (2017) No
Negotiation mandate (A/RES/71/258) Voted no
Other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) treaties
Party to an NWFZ No (4 of 5 NSA protocols)
Party to the NPT Yes (Acceded 1992)
Ratified the CTBT Yes (Ratified 1998, Annex 2 state)
Party to the BWC Yes (Acceded 1984)
Party to the CWC Yes (Ratified 1995)
IAEA safeguards and fissile material
Safeguards agreement Voluntary offer agreement
TPNW Art 3(2) deadline N/A
Small Quantities Protocol No
Additional Protocol Partial
Enrichment facilities/reprocessing plants Yes (Civ)
HEU stocks 2 tons (Mil)/5.4 tons (Civ)
Plutonium stocks 4.9 tons (Mil)/79.4 tons (Civ)

Latest developments

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, issued a joint statement with his US counterpart, Joe Biden, in December 2022 in which they reaffirmed their opposition to the TPNW. The Treaty does not, in their view, ‘reflect the increasingly challenging international security environment and is at odds with the existing non-proliferation and disarmament architecture’.1

Like the other nuclear-armed states, France did not attend the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW (1MSP) in Vienna in June 2022. Ahead of the 1MSP, 56 French parliamentarians argued that, by isolating itself from the dialogue at 1MSP, France would only weaken its denunciation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear posturing.2

At the French National Assembly in October 2022, a cross-party group of parliamentarians launched an inter-parliamentary network, or circle, ‘to initiate reflection on military nuclear issues and in particular on the TPNW’.3 It is the first initiative of its kind in a nuclear-armed state.

In the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in October 2022, France, in a joint statement with the United Kingdom and the United States stated that ‘Progress on the nuclear disarmament agenda is only possible if we were to have an incremental, inclusive, consensus-based, multilateral process that takes into account the prevailing international security environment.’4


  • France should acknowledge that nuclear deterrence is not a sustainable solution for its own or international security, and that any perceived benefits are far outweighed by the risk of nuclear accidents or war.

  • France should comply with its existing obligation under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and pursue negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament.

  • France should urgently adhere to the TPNW. Until it is in a position to do so, it should welcome the TPNW as a valuable component in the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, work with the Treaty's states parties on practical steps towards disarmament, and attend the meetings of states parties as an observer.

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