On July 2, 1966, the first French nuclear test was held in the Pacific Ocean. A nuclear bomb was detonated on Mururo Atoll, located in the Tuamot Islands, part of French Polynesia. The test was codenamed Aldebaran, and was performed in the lagoon area of the said atoll, about 1,100 kilometers southeast of the island of Tahiti (the largest island in French Polynesia). The bomb detonated that day had a power of about 28 kilotons, almost twice as much as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
The French had conducted nuclear tests before, but never before in the Pacific (between 1960 and 1966) they used Algerian desert areas. The mentioned test of the name Aldebaran was just the beginning of a long series of tests, so that in the area of French Polynesia to date, a total of about 190 nuclear devices have been tested. One test from September 1966 was attended even by then-French President Charles de Gaulle. The Americans also conducted nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean, especially near Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands area. Although Bikini Atoll is located in the Pacific Ocean as well as Mururoa Atoll, these are two very distant locations. Namely, Bikini Atoll is more than 7,000 kilometers away from Mururo Atoll in French Polynesia, almost like Moscow from New York.
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