Is Mururoa atoll still radioactive?

Is Mururoa atoll still radioactive?

Nuclear tests at Moruroa and Fangataufa ceased in 1996 due to international protest, but the atolls still remain restricted military territory. 30 years after the tests, about half of the radioactive strontium-90 and cesium-137 and all of the plutonium still remains in the archipelago’s air, water and soil.

Why did France test at Mururoa atoll?

These tests were meant to provide France with enough data to improve further nuclear technology without needing additional series of tests. The test site at Mururoa was dismantled following France’s last nuclear test to date, detonated on 27 January 1996, but the atoll is still guarded by the French Forces.

What are the effects of nuclear testing on Mururoa atoll?

French nuclear bomb test at Mururoa Atoll, 1970. From 1975, all nuclear blasts were carried out underground, causing both short-term and long-term environmental damage. At the time of the explosion, fracturing of the atoll surface triggered landslides, tsunamis and earthquakes.

What happened to Mururoa?

In 1996 France signed the protocols of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga). Military and civilian facilities related to the nuclear testing were dismantled, and Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls were returned to something approaching their natural state.

Is French Polynesia still radioactive?

But a new analysis of hundreds of documents declassified in 2013 suggests the tests exposed 90% of the 125,000 people living in French Polynesia to radioactive fallout—roughly 10 times as many people as the French government has estimated.

When was the last nuclear test in the Pacific?

Pacific Proving Grounds

Pacific Proving Grounds / Pacific Test Site
In use 1947–present (last nuclear test in 1962)
Test information
Nuclear tests 105

What happened during the Mururoa protest?

Nuclear-free New Zealand The sinking of the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland in July 1985 shocked the nation. The incident galvanised an anti-nuclear movement that had emerged in opposition to both French nuclear tests at Mururoa and American warship visits to New Zealand.

What caused the Mururoa atoll protest?

In June 1995, the French government announced it would carry out eight final underground nuclear bomb tests at Moruroa atoll before ratifying the UN’s comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. The announcement provoked a storm of protest around the Pacific.

Who was protesting for the French to stop testing in Mururoa?

New Zealand
New Zealand was involved in ongoing protest over French nuclear testing from the mid-1960s, when France began testing nuclear weapons in French Polynesia. Mururoa (or Moruroa) Atoll became the focal point for both the tests and opposition to them.

When was the last French nuclear test?

27 January 1996
On 27 January 1996, the last nuclear test explosion by France was conducted at the Moruroa and Fangataufa Atoll test site in the South Pacific. The underground explosion was equivalent to 120,000 tonnes of conventional explosives, six times the force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Where did UK test nuclear weapons?

Montebello Islands
Map of the Montebello Islands – click to enlarge. On 3 October 1952, the United Kingdom became the third country to test nuclear weapons after the United States and the Soviet Union. The first British test, code-named ‘Hurricane’, was conducted at the Montebello Islands in Western Australia.

Why did France do nuclear testing?

By 1962 France hoped in its negotiations with the Algerian independence movement to retain the Sahara as a test site until 1968, but decided that it needed to be able to also perform above-ground tests of hydrogen bombs, which could not be done in Algeria.