Countries: China


China is a nuclear weapon state member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Its nuclear arsenal is estimated to include 350 nuclear weapons. China's stockpile of fissile materials is estimated to include 14±3 tonnes of HEU and 2.9±0.6 tonnes of weapon-grade plutonium.

China has not declared officially that it has ended HEU and plutonium production for weapons, but it is believed to have done so. Production of HEU was stopped in 1987 and that of plutonium by about 1990.

Highly-enriched uranium

China has produced highly enriched uranium (HEU) for weapons in two complexes: the Lanzhou gaseous diffusion plant (Plant 504) and the Heping gaseous diffusion plant (Plant 814). It also used these enrichment plants to produce HEU for its research reactors and LEU for naval reactors. The Heping plant continues to operate.

The total amount of weapon-grade HEU in China's stockpile is estimated to be 14±3 tonnes.

China operates three civilian centrifuge enrichment plants at Hanzhong in Shaanxi province (Plant 405), Lanzhou in Gansu province (Plant 504), and Emeishan in Sichuan province (Plant 814). These plants produce LEU for civilian purposes.

Military plutonium

China has produced plutonium for weapons at two sites: the Jiuquan Atomic Energy Complex (also referred as Plant 404) near Yumen in Gansu province and the Guangyuan plutonium production complex (Plant 821), located at Guangyuan in
Sichuan province. The plutonium production reactor at Jiuquan is believed to have been shut down in 1984. The reactor at Guangyuan probably stopped plutonium production by 1989.

China's two plutonium production reactors produced an estimated 3.2±0.6 tonnes of weapon-grade plutonium. Of this amount, about 360 kg of plutonium is estimated to have been consumed in China's nuclear tests and lost in production. The current inventory of weapon-grade plutonium is therefore estimated to be 2.9±0.6 tonnes.

Civilian plutonium

China reported its first separated civilian plutonium in its declaration to the IAEA that reflected the status of plutonium holdings as of the end of 2010. At the time, the declared amount was 13.8 kg. By the end of 2016 this amount increased to 40.9 kg. China has not submitted to the IAEA its INFCIRC/549 declarations for 2017-2021.