Atomic Deserts A Survey of the World's Radioactive No-Go Zones

The Soviet nuclear testing site in present-day Kazakhstan is just one of many places in the world that remain dangerously radioactive to this day.

The Soviet nuclear testing site in present-day Kazakhstan is just one of many places in the world that remain dangerously radioactive to this day.

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Part 14: The Desert Rats


AFP
France was also determined not to get left behind in the nuclear arms race. The first French atomic bomb was called "Gerboise Bleue," named after a desert rodent, and was detonated on the morning of Feb. 13, 1960 in the Reggane district of Algeria, then a French colony. At 70 kilotons, it was bigger than the first nuclear tests of the UK, USSR and USA combined. Three more bombs were exploded soon thereafter. France moved its testing grounds to remote areas of the South Pacific after Algeria gained its independence in 1962.

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