The World Court tossed out New Zealand’s attempt to halt French nuclear tests in the South Pacific, but the issue haunted European Union and international atomic agency meetings Friday.
Adding fuel to the fire, a top official in Paris said France will likely carry out another nuclear test within 10 days - one that could be even more powerful than the underground blast at Mururoa Atoll on Sept. 5.
Jacques Baumel, vice president of the French National Assembly’s defense commission, said the next test aims to check the reliability of the new TN-75 warhead that will be used in submarine-based missiles.
French President Jacques Chirac will be called upon to defend his nuclear testing program as he mingles with other EU leaders at a summit on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca. The two-day meeting opened Friday.