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France and weapons of mass destruction

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Weapons of
mass destruction
By Type
Biological weapons
Chemical weapons
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Radiological weapons
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Brazil
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Nuclear testing
See also
Dirty bomb
Radiological warfare
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France is said to have an arsenal of 350 nuclear weapons stockpiled as of 2002 [1] (http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/nudb/datab16.asp). The weapons are part of the national Force de frappe. France is one of the five "Nuclear Weapons States" (NWS) under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which France ratified in 1992.

France never ratified the Partial Test Ban Treaty, leaving it open to conduct nuclear tests at will. In 1972, Greenpeace managed to delay nuclear tests by several weeks with its ship illegally trespassing in the testing zone. The skipper, David McTaggart, was beaten and severely injured by members of the French military. Later, the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was bombed by French Intelligence in Auckland, New Zealand. One crew member, Fernando Pereira of Portugal, photographer, drowned after he went back on the sinking ship to recover his photographic equipment. Two members of French Intelligence were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in New Zealand. President Chirac's decision to run a nuclear test series at Mururoa in 1996, just one year before the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was to be signed, caused worldwide protest.

France denies currently having chemical weapons, ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1995, and acceded to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1984. France had also ratified the Geneva Protocol in 1926.

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