Tahiti was first made into a French colony in 1880 and then, along with the rest of the Polynesian islands, became a French territory in 1946. Since then, Tahiti has been the economic center of French Polynesia.
France has conducted nuclear tests in its colonies since before the Cold War began. It conducted atmospheric nuclear tests in Algeria up until 1962 when they won their independence. Consequently, France began testing in French Polynesia in 1966 instead, and by 1974, had moved to underground tests. From 1966 to 1992, France conducted 41 atmospheric tests and 138 underground nuclear tests in French Polynesia.