On July 2nd , 1966, France performed its first atmospheric nuclear test in French Polynesia, on the Mururoa atoll. Those tests had been previously performed in the Algerian Sahara, even after Algeria’s independence, in conformity with a secret clause of the Evian Agreements.
In 2005, an investigation initiated by the Damoclès magazine, essentially based on some documents from the French Defense Department showed that the radiation indexes observed after detonations were extremely high and that the authorities had minimized the effects on the staff and the population. On the other hand, also according to Damoclès, chromosome abnormalities in Polynesian patients suffering from thyroid cancer would be three times greater than in a European patient control group. By way of an answer, the Defense Department maintained in a press release that they had “respected the protection norms then in force against radioactivity”