2022 civilian plutonium declarations submitted to the IAEA

This post contains a summary of INFCIRC/549 reports by the countries that submit annual civilian plutonium declarations that reflect the status of civilian plutonium stocks as of 31 December 2022. The total amount of plutonium declared as civilian was about 370 tonnes, an increase of about 7 tonnes since the end of 2021. Only about 140 tons of this material are under international (IAEA or Euratom) safeguards. The other 230 tonnes are not safeguarded, but are covered by various obligations not to use the material for military purposes.

Japan (INFCIRC/549/Add.1-26) reported owning the total of 45.1 tons of plutonium, 9.2 tons of which is in Japan (the numbers in 2021 were 45.8 tons and 9.3 tons respectively). According to the Status Report on Plutonium Management in Japan - 2022 released in July 2023, out of the 35.9 tons of plutonium abroad, 21.757 tons are in the United Kingdom and 14.113 tons are in France.

Germany (INFCIRC/549/Add.2-26) reported having no separated plutonium in the country for the third year in a row. Germany does not report separated plutonium outside of the country. It is believed to be less than 1 ton.

Belgium (INFCIRC/549/Add.3-22) declared no separated plutonium in storage or at reprocessing plants and "not zero, but less than 50 kg" of separated plutonium in other categories. It reported that it had no foreign plutonium as of 31 December 2022.

Switzerland (INFCIRC/549/Add.4-27) reported having less than 2 kg of plutonium in the country (in the "located elsewhere" category). The number has not changed since 2016 (it was "less than 50 kg" in 2015).

France (INFCIRC/549/Add.5-27) reported having 106.2 tons of separated unirradiated plutonium in its custody. Of this amount, 14.33 tons belongs to foreign countries. It appears that almost all that plutonium - 14,113 kg - belongs to Japan. The amount of plutonium owned by France is 91.87 tons, an increase of 6.97 tons from previous year (84.9 tons).

The United States in its 2022 report (INFCIRC/549/Add.6-25) declared 49.2 tons of separated plutonium, of which 4.6 tons are in MOX fuel and 44.6 tons are "held elsewhere" (most of this material is believed to be in weapon components). The total amount was reported to be 49.4 tons in 2021. It is possible that the change reflects the process of disposal of some material. The amount described as "disposed as waste" was 4.5 tons in 2021 and 4.7 tons in 2022.

China has not has not submitted its 2017-2022 reports as of 25 March 2024. The last INFCIRC/549 report submitted to the IAEA showed 40.9 kg of separated plutonium as of 31 December 2016.

The United Kingdom (INFCIRC/549/Add.8-26) reported owning 116.4 tons of separated plutonium, a decrease from 116.5 in 2021. In addition to that, the United Kingdom stores 24.1 tons of foreign plutonium (of which 21.757 tons is owned by Japan).

Russia (INFCIRC/549/Add.9-25) reported owning 64.5 tons of civilian plutonium, an increase of 1 ton from 2021.

In addition to reporting plutonium stocks, some countries also submit data on their civilian HEU:

Germany reported 0.35 tonnes of HEU in research reactor fuel, 0.94 tonnes of HEU in irradiated research reactor fuel, and 0.01 tonnes in the category "HEU held elsewhere." None of the numbers have changed since 2020.

France declared 5312 kg of HEU (5313 kg in 2021), of which 3761 kg (3760 kg) is unirradiated material - 506 kg (804 kg) of HEU at fuel fabrication or reprocessing plants, 78 kg (60 kg) at civil reactor sites, 3177 kg (2896 kg) at various research facilities. Also declared are 1551 kg (1533 kg) of irradiated HEU - 40 kg (62 kg) at civil reactor sites and 1511 kg (1491 kg) in other locations.

The United Kingdom reported having 691 kg of HEU (734 kg in 2021). Of this amount, 554 kg is unirradiated HEU (598 in 2021): less than 1 kg of unirradiated HEU is stored at the enrichment plants, less than 1 kg is at civil reactor sites, 440 kg - at fuel fabrication facilities, and 114 kg - at other sites (420 kg and 178 kg respectively in 2020). Irradiated HEU is located at civil reactor sites (5 kg) and other sites (131 kg).