France set off its second underground nuclear blast in 11 days at the Mururoa atoll testing site in the South Pacific Saturday, the Defense Ministry said.

The test was carried out at 1715 GMT (1:15 p.m. EDT) and the device was smaller than 60 kilotons - the equivalent of 60,000 tons of TNT, or four times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.Last year France carried out six nuclear tests.