Forum, Futuribles Journal n° 206


À propos des essais nucléaires


About Nuclear Testing
The decision of Président Chirac, as abrupt as it was irrevocable, to resume and then to stop nuclear tests that François Mitterrand had decided to stop three years earlier, has elicited a variety of reactions. Among them it has underscored two issues to which French citizens cannot remain indifferent: the first relates to the merits of the decision; the second to the way it was communicated (or was not communicated).
Pierre Bonnaure has some answers for puzzled laymen. He first notes that "the affair is shrouded in secrecy". This makes it difficult to judge the reliability of information or to understand why two chiefs of state adopted positions so radically opposed.
In spite of a lack of precise information, P. Bonnaure has attempted an interpretation of the stakes and consequences of the testing. He shows that the official purpose of the testing (the validation of a system of simulation) and the pretended innocuousness of testing in the atolls are unconvincing. He notes that the costs of the operation are high, including the ambiguity of the French policy toward its European and American partners.
The author is thus led to ask himself whether the French military-scientific-industrial complex is a state within the State.

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