14 Jan 2006

French state asked to explain apparent link between nuclear tests and earthquakes

7:19 am on 14 January 2006

A report says a lawyer and Green Party member has summoned the French state to an administrative tribunal in France to determine whether underground nuclear testing led to earthquakes.

The Associated Press is reporting Pierre-Francois Divier is making the request after being prompted by research by the geographer, Gary Whiteford, at the University of New Brunswick in Canada.

The research suggests in the first half of the 20th century, there were about 68 earthquakes that reached or superceded six on the Richter scale each year.

It says after 1950 and the advent of nuclear testing, to 1990, there were an average of 124 earthquakes of such magnitude each year.

The study links subterranean nuclear explosions at Mururoa in French Polynesia and Nevada on July 23rd and 27th 1976, with an earthquake in China on the 28th, which killed 800,000 people.