Reggane series, French nuclear tests

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Country France
Test site Reggane PG, French Algeria (CEMO)
Period 1960-1961
Number of tests 4
Test type dry surface, tower
Max. yield 65 kilotonnes of TNT (270 TJ)
Test series chronology
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The France's Reggane nuclear test series[1] was a group of 4 nuclear tests conducted in 1960–1961. These tests preceded the In Ekker series, French nuclear tests series.

France's Reggane series tests and detonations
Name [note 1] Date time (UT) Local time zone [note 2][2] Location [note 3] Elevation + height [note 4] Delivery, [note 5]
Purpose [note 6]
Device [note 7] Yield [note 8] Fallout [note 9] References Notes
Gerboise Bleue 13 February 1960 07:04:?? CET (1 hrs)
Reggane PG, French Algeria (CEMO) 26°18′42″N 0°03′26″W / 26.3117°N 0.0572°W / 26.3117; -0.0572 (Gerboise Bleue) 235 m (771 ft) + 105 m (344 ft) tower,
weapon effect
65 kt [1][3][4] "Blue Gerbil", pure fission device with a plutonium core and a one-point initiated implosion system.
Gerboise Blanche 1 April 1960 06:17:?? CET (1 hrs)
Reggane PG, French Algeria (CEMO) 26°09′49″N 0°06′12″W / 26.16374°N 0.10323°W / 26.16374; -0.10323 (Gerboise Blanche) 235 m (771 ft) - 7 m (23 ft) dry surface,
weapons development
10 kt [1][3][4] "White Gerbil", plutonium fission device, weight 1,290 kg (2,840 lb), fired from hole in desert, later refilled. Note trail from Bleu that ends there.
Gerboise Rouge 27 December 1960 07:30:?? CET (1 hrs)
Reggane PG, French Algeria (CEMO) 26°21′11″N 0°07′24″W / 26.35319°N 0.12341°W / 26.35319; -0.12341 (Gerboise Rouge) 235 m (771 ft) + 50 m (160 ft) tower,
3 kt [1][3][4] "Red Gerbil".
Gerboise Verte 25 April 1961 06:00:?? CET (1 hrs)
Reggane PG, French Algeria (CEMO) 26°19′16″N 0°04′24″W / 26.32098°N 0.07347°W / 26.32098; -0.07347 (Gerboise Verte) 235 m (771 ft) + 50 m (160 ft) tower,
500 t [1][3][4] "Green Gerbil", an intentionally low yield "scuttle" of a bomb to prevent it from falling into the hands of mutineers during the Algiers Putsch, set in motion three days earlier by General Maurice Challe.
  1. ^ The US, France and Great Britain have code-named their test events, while the USSR and China did not, and therefore have only test numbers (with some exceptions – Soviet peaceful explosions were named). Word translations into English in parentheses unless the name is a proper noun. A dash followed by a number indicates a member of a salvo event. The US also sometimes named the individual explosions in such a salvo test, which results in "name1 – 1(with name2)". If test is canceled or aborted, then the row data like date and location discloses the intended plans, where known.
  2. ^ To convert the UT time into standard local, add the number of hours in parentheses to the UT time; for local daylight saving time, add one additional hour. If the result is earlier than 00:00, add 24 hours and subtract 1 from the day; if it is 24:00 or later, subtract 24 hours and add 1 to the day. All historical timezone data are derived from here:
  3. ^ Rough place name and a latitude/longitude reference; for rocket-carried tests, the launch location is specified before the detonation location, if known. Some locations are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. "~" indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.
  4. ^ Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel, air drop or other contrivance. For rocket bursts the ground level is "N/A". In some cases it is not clear if the height is absolute or relative to ground, for example, Plumbbob/John. No number or units indicates the value is unknown, while "0" means zero. Sorting on this column is by elevation and height added together.
  5. ^ Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, and barge are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT. Intentional cratering tests are borderline; they occurred under the treaty, were sometimes protested, and generally overlooked if the test was declared to be a peaceful use.
  6. ^ Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.
  7. ^ Designations for test items where known, "?" indicates some uncertainty about the preceding value, nicknames for particular devices in quotes. This category of information is often not officially disclosed.
  8. ^ Estimated energy yield in tons, kilotons, and megatons. A ton of TNT equivalent is defined as 4.184 gigajoules (1 gigacalorie).
  9. ^ Radioactive emission to the atmosphere aside from prompt neutrons, where known. The measured species is only iodine-131 if mentioned, otherwise it is all species. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and "all" if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, where known, and the measured amount of radioactivity released.


  1. ^ a b c d e Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000). CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3) (Technical report). SMDC Monitoring Research. 
  2. ^ "Timezone Historical Database". Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Radiological Conditions at the Former French Nuclear Test Sites in Algeria: Preliminary Assessment and Recommendations (PDF) (Technical report). Vienna, Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency. March 1, 2005. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Norris, Robert S.; Burrows, Andrew S.; Fieldhouse, Richard W. (1994). Nuclear Weapons Databook, Vol. 5: British, French, and Chinese Nuclear Weapons. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.