Cessation of nuclear testing
Centre d'expérimentation du Pacifique in 1987, and in 1998, after dismantling. Photo credit : CEA
France is the only nuclear-weapon State to have closed down and dismantled its nuclear testing centre, located in the Pacifique 1. It now no longer has facilities in which to conduct nuclear tests.
French support to ban nuclear testing has several components :
The definitive end of nuclear tests announced on 20 January 1996.
The dismantling of facilities of the Centre d’expérimentation du Pacifique ("Testing center of the Pacific") announced in 1996 and completed in late July 1998. France, together with its European Union partners, is calling for the dismantling of all nuclear testing sites, in a manner that is transparent and open to the international community.
To find out more
- The French Defence Ministry published a scientific report - the first of its kind - in March 2007, on the radiological aspects of French nuclear tests in the Pacific 2. To date, France is the only nuclear-weapon State to publish such extensive information on its testing sites and their surrounding environment.
- For further information on nuclear tests in French Polynesia, see the website of the Military Applications Division of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
Support for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed by France on 24 September 1996 and ratified on 6 April 1998 with the United Kingdom. France calls for universal ratification of the CTBT and completion of its verification regime. It provides its active technical and financial support to the provisional technical Secretariat of the CTBT.
The NPT Review Conference, which was held in May 2010, recalled to what extent the perspective of the fast entry into force of the CTBT was important for the future of the overall nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture.
Positive and encouraging results have been recorded : 163 countries have now ratified the Treaty ; Indonesia ratified it on 6 February 2012, meaning that it must now be ratified by only eight more States in order to take effect.
France is participating in the "Group of Eminent Persons" set up by the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Lassina Zerbo, in order to conduct activities to promote the universalization of the treaty.
Furthermore, France is helping to bolster the verification regime and support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission. It is responsible for 24 monitoring stations.
At European level, three joint actions adopted within the framework of the European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) yielded work in such areas as training, building verification regime performance and technical assistance to third countries. The latest decision, adopted in late 2012, approved a further contribution of 5 million euros for CTBTO activities. European Union support likewise furthers the development of scientific and civil uses of technologies in the international watch system.