FRANCE EXPLODES ANOTHER NUCLEAR BOMB

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If it is possible to quietly detonate a100 kiloton nuclear bomb, France did it Sunday off the Fangataufa Atoll in French Polynesia. "Because Greenpeace's boats have been confiscated, the organization currently has a greatly reduced capability to protest. The French government has very shrewdly focused on this strategic weakness, and was able to explode the bomb with very little resistance," reports TIME's James Geary. Hours before the explosion, a blast more than five times as powerful as the one that levelled Hiroshima, the French seized another Greenpeace vessel, the fourth since the tests began last month at the Mururoa Atoll. The strong international protests that marked the first test were also absent this time, with Japan, Russia, the United States and the European Commission merely expressing "regret." In Papeete, the site of fierce rioting after the earlier test, the streets were calm. France restated its intention to sign a nuclear test ban treaty when its tests are completed in May, 1996.