1971–74 French nuclear tests

The France's 1971–1974 nuclear test series[1] was a group of 24 nuclear tests conducted in 1971–1974. These tests followed the 1966–70 French nuclear tests series and preceded the 1975–78 French nuclear tests series.

France's 1971-1974 series tests and detonations
Name [note 1] Date time (UT) Local time zone [note 2][2] Location [note 3] Elevation + height [note 4] Delivery, [note 5]
Purpose [note 6]
Device [note 7] Yield [note 8] Fallout [note 9] References Notes
Dioné 5 June 1971 19:15:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Dioné) 5 m (16 ft) + 275 m (902 ft) balloon,
weapons development
AN-51 34 kt [1][3][4][5]
Encelade 12 June 1971 19:14:57.3 TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon 21.80316°S 138.91391°W / -21.80316; -138.91391 (Encelade) 5 m (16 ft) + 450 m (1,480 ft) balloon,
weapons development
MR-41 440 kt [1][3][4][5] Induced fallout over Tureia.
Japet 4 July 1971 21:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Japet) 5 m (16 ft) + 230 m (750 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 9 kt [1][3][4][5]
Phoebé 8 August 1971 18:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Phoebé) 5 m (16 ft) + 230 m (750 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 4 kt [1][3][4][5]
Rhéa 14 August 1971 19:00:00.8 TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon 21.823°S 138.976°W / -21.823; -138.976 (Rhéa) 5 m (16 ft) + 480 m (1,570 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 955 kt [1][3][4][5]
Umbriel 25 June 1972 19:00:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Umbriel) 5 m (16 ft) + 230 m (750 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 500 t [1][3][4][5]
Titania 30 June 1972 18:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Titania) 5 m (16 ft) + 220 m (720 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 4 kt [1][3][4][5]
Obéron 27 July 1972 18:40:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Obéron) 5 m (16 ft) + 220 m (720 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 6 kt [1][3][4][5]
Ariel 31 July 1972 22:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Colette zone, Moruroa Atoll: Colette ~ 21.78131°S 138.90472°W / -21.78131; -138.90472 (Ariel) 5 m (16 ft) + 10 m (33 ft) dry surface,
safety experiment
TN-60 ? 1000 kg [3][4][6] Some report that this was a safety experiment.
Euterpe 21 July 1973 18:00:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Euterpe) 5 m (16 ft) + 220 m (720 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 11 kt [1][3][4][5]
Melpomène 28 July 1973 23:06:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Melpomène) 5 m (16 ft) + 270 m (890 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 ? 50 t [1][3][4][5]
Pallas 18 August 1973 18:15:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Pallas) 5 m (16 ft) + 270 m (890 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 ? 4 kt [1][3][4][5]
Parthénope 24 August 1973 18:00:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Parthénope) 5 m (16 ft) + 220 m (720 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 ? 200 t [1][3][4][5]
Tamara 28 August 1973 18:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Muroroa Atoll, Pacific Test Area (CEP): 26 km W 21.88862°S 139.277°W / -21.88862; -139.277 (Tamara) 5 m (16 ft) + 250 m (820 ft) air drop,
weapons development
AN-52 6.6 kt [1][3][4][5] Dropped by a Mirage 3 jet.
Vesta 13 September 1973 15:42:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Colette zone, Moruroa Atoll: Colette ~ 21.78122°S 138.90476°W / -21.78122; -138.90476 (Vesta) 0.1 m (3.9 in) + 4 m (13 ft) dry surface,
safety experiment
no yield [3][4]
Capricorne 16 June 1974 17:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Capricorne) 5 m (16 ft) + 220 m (720 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-70 ? 4 kt [1][3][4][5]
Bélier 1 July 1974 17:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Colette zone, Moruroa Atoll: Colette ~ 21.78126°S 138.90472°W / -21.78126; -138.90472 (Bélier) 0.6 m (2 ft 0 in) + 5 m (16 ft) dry surface,
safety experiment
no yield [3][4]
Gémeaux 7 July 1974 23:15:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Gémeaux) 5 m (16 ft) + 312 m (1,024 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-70 ? 150 kt [1][3][4][5]
Centaure 17 July 1974 17:00:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Centaure) 5 m (16 ft) + 270 m (890 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-80 ? 4 kt [1][3][4][5]
Maquis 25 July 1974 17:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Muroroa Atoll, Pacific Test Area (CEP): 17 km WSW 21.95429°S 139.17013°W / -21.95429; -139.17013 (Maquis) 5 m (16 ft) + 250 m (820 ft) air drop,
weapons development
AN-52 8 kt [1][3][4][5]
Persée 28 July 1974 17:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Colette zone, Moruroa Atoll: Colette ~ 21.78122°S 138.90474°W / -21.78122; -138.90474 (Persée) 0.6 m (2 ft 0 in) + 5 m (16 ft) dry surface,
safety experiment
1000 kg [3][4] Some report that this was a safety experiment.
Scorpion 14 August 1974 00:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Scorpion) 5 m (16 ft) + 312 m (1,024 ft) balloon,
weapons development
96 kt [1][3][4][5]
Taurue 24 August 1974 23:45:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll: Denise ~ 21.83°S 138.88°W / -21.83; -138.88 (Taurue) 5 m (16 ft) + 270 m (890 ft) balloon,
weapons development
14 kt [1][3][4][5]
Verseau 14 September 1974 23:30:?? TAHT (-10 hrs)
Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll: Dindon 21.871°S 139.01°W / -21.871; -139.01 (Verseau) 5 m (16 ft) + 433 m (1,421 ft) balloon,
weapons development
TN-60 ? 332 kt [1][3][4][5]
Nuclear weapons testing
1971–1974
Information
CountryFrance
Test siteColette zone, Moruroa Atoll; Denise zone, Moruroa Atoll; Dindon zone, Moruroa Atoll; Muroroa Atoll, Pacific Test Area (CEP)
Period1971–1974
Number of tests24
Test typeair drop, balloon, dry surface
Max. yield955 kilotonnes of TNT (4,000 TJ)
Test series chronology

Notes

  1. The US, France and Great Britain have code-named their test events, while the USSR and China did not, and therefore have only test numbers (with some exceptions Soviet peaceful explosions were named). Word translations into English in parentheses unless the name is a proper noun. A dash followed by a number indicates a member of a salvo event. The US also sometimes named the individual explosions in such a salvo test, which results in "name1 1(with name2)". If test is canceled or aborted, then the row data like date and location discloses the intended plans, where known.
  2. To convert the UT time into standard local, add the number of hours in parentheses to the UT time; for local daylight saving time, add one additional hour. If the result is earlier than 00:00, add 24 hours and subtract 1 from the day; if it is 24:00 or later, subtract 24 hours and add 1 to the day. All historical timezone data are derived from here:
  3. Rough place name and a latitude/longitude reference; for rocket-carried tests, the launch location is specified before the detonation location, if known. Some locations are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. "~" indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.
  4. Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel, air drop or other contrivance. For rocket bursts the ground level is "N/A". In some cases it is not clear if the height is absolute or relative to ground, for example, Plumbbob/John. No number or units indicates the value is unknown, while "0" means zero. Sorting on this column is by elevation and height added together.
  5. Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, and barge are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT. Intentional cratering tests are borderline; they occurred under the treaty, were sometimes protested, and generally overlooked if the test was declared to be a peaceful use.
  6. Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.
  7. Designations for test items where known, "?" indicates some uncertainty about the preceding value, nicknames for particular devices in quotes. This category of information is often not officially disclosed.
  8. Estimated energy yield in tons, kilotons, and megatons. A ton of TNT equivalent is defined as 4.184 gigajoules (1 gigacalorie).
  9. Radioactive emission to the atmosphere aside from prompt neutrons, where known. The measured species is only iodine-131 if mentioned, otherwise it is all species. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and "all" if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, where known, and the measured amount of radioactivity released.

References

  1. Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000). CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3) (Technical report). SMDC Monitoring Research.
  2. "Timezone Historical Database". iana.com. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  3. La Dimension Radiologique des Essais Nucleaires Francais en Polynesie (PDF) (Technical report). Ministry of Defense. March 1, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-09-09. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  4. "The Radiological Situation at the Atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa, Main Report" (PDF). Vienna, Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency. 1998. Retrieved December 19, 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. Norris, Robert S.; Burrows, Andrew S.; Fieldhouse, Richard W. (1994). Nuclear Weapons Databook, Vol. 5: British, French, and Chinese Nuclear Weapons. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
  6. Capcom Espace (2005). "Les essais nucleaire Francaispublisher=Capcom Espace". Retrieved December 20, 2013.
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