France claims depleted uranium fears unfounded as it seeks alternatives

The French Ministry of Defence has responded to a parliamentary question by seeking to dismiss concerns over the use of depleted uranium – even as it seeks alternative materials.

31 January 2011 – ICBUW

A parliamentary response from the French Ministry of Defence has revealed that France has no plans to remove its depleted uranium rounds from service as part of a Europe-wide moratorium on their use, as requested by a 2008 European Parliament resolution. The MoD claims that the rounds are the most effective anti-tank weapon France has and that depleted uranium is harmless. However, the MoD also claims that it is undertaking research into alternatives, in order to replace depleted uranium as soon as it has a weapon that it believes is as effective.

Like the UK, France claims that not only is depleted uranium harmless but also that it is the most effective material available for kinetic energy rounds. However, the UK now seems happy to field a less effective weapon if it can save some money, while France is so unconcerned about the potential risks from depleted uranium that it is spending money developing alternative materials.


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