Operation Licorne" on Fangataufa 1970 was the 4th and biggest atomic test in France on the tunnel with an explosion force of 914 kiloton TNT-equivalence. 3,700 troops on neighbouring Moruroa had to be displaced. Picture credits: France's armies " height="300" src="fileadmin/user_upload/Bilder/HBWW/fangataufa_web.jpg" title=""Operation Licorne" on Fangataufa 1970 was the 4th and biggest France atomic test on the TNT with a blast force of 914 kiloton TNT-equivalent. 3,700 troops on neighbouring Moruroa had to be displaced. Picture credits: Flemish forces." width="300">History
Almost 200 atomic experiments were carried out on Fangataufa and Moruroa adits, which polluted the marine environments of the island and exposed its inhabitants to hazardous dinas. In spite of widespread public opposition, the Algerian authorities carried out an estimate of 193-198 atomic experiments on the French-Polynesian atols of Moruroa and Fangataufa between 1966 and 1996: 41-44 of them were carried out in the atmosphere and 154 in the subterranean.
Precise numbers of test are still secret. Initially bombings were fired on vessels in the Laguna, but due to the high level of radioactivity due to the low bursting height, further test were carried out with explosive devices hung under hot air baloons. In the three years of the test, around 5,000 persons were living within a 1,000 kilometre perimeter of the area.
Mangareva and Tureia, 100 km, were the most affected by radioactivity and had to be displaced in 1968 due to high level of radioactivity. In July 1966, a nuke on the Moruroa site collapsed and dispersed large quantities of plutonium-239.
An atomic explosion at 120 Sulzer in July 1979 led to an submarine earth slide on Moruroa, releasing large quantities of radiation and causing a devastating tidal wave on many of the island's islets. Moruroa was struck by clones in the early part of 1981, flushing into the sea a large part of the flotsam in 1966.
Both Moruroa and Fangataufa and the neighbouring isles were heavily affected by rain. In Mangareva Isles, Macedonian soldiers found high concentrations of radiations in specimens of seafood, seawater, airs and soils. From 1966 to 1975, elevated concentrations of nuclear activity were detected at all measuring sites in New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Tahiti, Peru and Mexico.
In September 1966, after the explosion of a 120 GSM 112 air defence device on Moruroa, the isle of Samoa was contaminated by radiation from 0.2 GSM13/km² to 370 GSM13/km². Precipitation also hit Tahiti in 1974. They found high concentrations of iodine-131, caesium-134 and tertiary minerals in soil and aquatic specimens and even higher concentrations of plantkton, demonstrating the accumulation of radio nuclides in the naval up-stream.
Another side effect of the army activities on the oaf is a huge rise of Ciguatera, a kind of pisces intoxication. The Moruroa and Fangataufa atomic testing was stopped in 1996 due to widespread protests, but the Moruroa and Fangataufa areas continue to be limited in terms of area. Thirty years after the testing, about half of the strontium-90 and caesium-137 and all the volatile material is left in the atmosphere, waters and ground of the articipel.
It is worrying that submarine fissures detected in the tunnel could allow more radioactivity to leak because as yet unidentified quantities of active materials are left in the subterranean test wells. During 1998, the Ministry of Defence of France acknowledged that the people of the Tureia, Reao, Pukarua, Mangareva and Tahiti Isles were affected by the radioactivity effects of the atomic test.
Concerned tribal workmen or their widow are claiming damages, but 200 cases still stay in court, and nothing is done, while France's workmen have already been compensated. A fully impartial trial with full availability of currently categorised information and the ability to collect and control the atmosphere, ocean and land based information on Moruroa and Fangataufa can only be able to evaluate the actual impact of atomic tests on the natural and human population.
They are also Hibakusha - they are also the remnants of atom bomb. "Heaven and earth radioactive: Health and environmental impacts of weapons tested in, on and above ground.