CNN World News

France detonates second nuclear test

October 1, 1995
Web posted at: 9:57 p.m. EDT (0157 GMT)

PAPEETE, Tahiti (CNN) -- Angry reaction is pouring in from a number of Pacific Rim countries as France announced the detonation of a second nuclear test in the South Pacific Monday.

Leaders from nearby New Zealand, Australia and Japan were highly critical of France's continuing efforts to carry out its nuclear tests.

Monday's blast, estimated to be up to five times larger than the first test conducted September 5, angered the government of New Zealand. "New Zealanders are outraged that once again France is thumbing its nose at world opinion," said Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

Japan's Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama called the test "extremely regrettable" and said his country's next move would be to explore what action it might take against France.

The blast, among the most powerful ever conducted by France, was, according to scientists in New Zealand, equivalent to an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale.

France's defense ministry says the detonation occurred about 7:30 p.m. ET (23:30 GMT). According to a spokesperson, the blast measured at less than 110 kilotons or about five times as powerful as last month's test.

Earlier, French marines seized another Greenpeace ship near the nuclear test site, outside the 12-mile exclusion zone. The French Defense Ministry says they had the "right of pursuit" after they found a canoe inside the zone. France says the canoe was "deliberately" released by the Greenpeace ship. Greenpeace is calling the act "international piracy."


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