Israel considers building nuclear plant
Amir Ben-David
Published: 01.08.07, 12:12
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32 Talkbacks for this article
1. That's perfect,after all we have a natural patent
Keren ,   Israel-SP   (08.01.07)
in such an amazing discovering,which is the Atomic Energy, made by our Albert Einstein,and that,unfortunately, so many others have been trying to misuse for evil purposes! Let's ,at least us,make of this a beautiful thing, in order to keep making of this land the land of honey,milk and B'H,Peace!
2. The Height of Hypocricy
Duncan Wills ,   Perth, Australia   (08.01.07)
"Iran should NOT build a nuclear plant. Never!" ...only Israel is allowed. Crap!
3. Prevent opposition - go for a Light Water Reactors.
Eric ,   Tel Aviv   (08.01.07)
Prevent any reason for opposition and don't go for one that would enable weapons grade materials. Also, it would be best to partner with Egypt or Jordan as an Arab partner would help deflect criticisms.
4. Are they out of their cotton-picking minds?
Sidney ,   USA   (08.01.07)
Solel, an Israeli company, will build the world's largest solar power plant in California. But Israel is diddling with permission for a similar plant in Israel. Is the entire Israeli government from Chelm?
5. "Environmentally friendly way of producing electricity"????
iandl ,   Europe   (08.01.07)
Did the nuclear lobby pay the journalist who wrote this article? This is crazy: has anyone compared the costs and environmental dangers, exacerbated by Israel being liable to earthquakes, with using solar and wind power, which in Israel would be able to provide base load? As to this plant being under non-proliferation supervision: I don't see the problem. Israel is already an acknowledged nuclear weapons power, so could quite happily sign the treaty from that perspective, so long as doesn't need to use this proposed power plant for production of weapons grade plutonium and doesn't need to import materials or technology any longer which would break the treaty. It is only a question of separating the nuclear fuel cycles for the "civil" and "military" side: and if it has any sense, it'll buy fuel from another country and give them its waste as well, so noone will be able to accuse it of diverting plutonium from spent fuel from the "civil" side to use for the "military" side. That would be an accounting problem for another country. Ideally, however, Israel will not be stupid enough to build any nuclear power plants. They are really quite unnecessary. What else can one use the Negev desert for apart from plastering it with solar energy collection panels?
6. Nuclear Power Station
Oskar Prager ,   Petach Tikva   (08.01.07)
Delighted to read that finally Israel considers building a power plant. One would hope that this would be done in conjunction with Jordan. It would increase supply of energy and at the same time enable greater possibilty of of desalination of sea water.
7. Foolish Aussie
rh ,   Modiin Israel   (08.01.07)
1) John Howard is looking into nuclear power. 2)Russia offered Iran to build all the nuclear electricity plants they wanted. Iran did not. 3)I believe that police should have guns and criminals should not, does that make me a hypocrit 4)It is widley suspected Israel has nuclear weapens already. 5)Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map. This they did without any provocation
8. Dumb idea will drive electricity costs through the roof
JPS ,   Efrat   (08.01.07)
Israel has no know-how or experience with commercial nuke power plants, so we'd have to out-source and send a billion or more bucks abroad. The itty bitty problem of nuclear waste still has no solution. What do they plan to do with it? And only $2 billion? Come on, giant projects like this in Israel are notorious for running way over cost and over deadline. Take the same money and invest in clean coal, wind, solar and tidal power and we'll be better off with eggs in different baskets, instead of all in one. There are too many examples of billions blown on bad nuke power plants. And oh yea, maybe one day the government will wise up and consider "conservation" as an option - to counter the standard Israeli practice of turning the air conditioning on full blast because the doors and windows are all wide open. (ok, it IS summertime - the same is true in the winter in any government building where the heat is on full, and the doors and windows are open cuz it's too hot....while the schools are freezing, of course).
9. to number 2
kallum ,   perth, australia   (08.01.07)
no its not the height of hypocrasy because comparing israel having a nuclear reactor with iran is like comparing john howard having a nuclear reactor with hitler. one side has nuclear arms and never been used even tho their country has come close to demise at least 3 times whilst in possession of it while the other side advocates wiping a coutry off the map - you tool
10. to Duncan #2
Daniel ,   Tel Aviv   (08.01.07)
I think there is a difference in building a nuclear power plant and building several undrground nuclear "facilities" like Iran is doing. You might be safe on your big secluded island buddy, but over here, we cant afford to take any risks - especially when the leader of Iran calls for our destruction. Wake up and smell the lamington ;-)
11. #5 is absolutely right
Noa ,   Beer Sheva   (08.01.07)
...atomic energy is in no way environmently friendly, just the opposite. Why not be - for a change - a little ahead of our time and use solar and wind energy?
Ben Avraham ,   Tel Aviv   (08.01.07)
We are building one for the Californians in the Mojave Desert. Why can't we do the same for ourselves? If it is good enough for the Americans, why isn't it for us? Why go nuclear on this?????
13. Solar Energy People
John ,   Maaleh Adumim,Israel   (08.01.07)
It would involve some initial investment, but it would pay off.... If we do not start taking care of our planet, we will lose it.
14. Nuclear is better for sea water desalination..
abdullah ,   ashkenaz   (08.01.07)
than solar or any other more "environmentally friendly" alternative, no? Just becuase desalination needs vast amounts of energy and nuclear can do this. I think water desalination is a must in israel and in the region, so it seems there is no way to avoid nuclear. Does nayone know if other alternative forms of energy could be used in place of nuclear, if desalination is considered?
15. # 5 Megawatts form wind power?
Gordon Shifman ,   Shoham, Israel   (08.01.07)
# 5 Producting electricity from wind and solar power may be politically correct and higly avant garde, but would never supply more than a fracton of nationwide requirements.
16. Nuclear plants are not "environmentally friendly"
Ohev Tsion ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (08.01.07)
How are their very toxic wastes to be disposed of?
17. Don't Do It! No Nukes Is Good Nukes
emanon ,   USA   (08.01.07)
There is no such thing as safe nuclear energy. The dangers of contamination FAR outweigh any benefit. Israel's neighbors are unstable enough and death happy enough to try and sabotage any facility. Then there is the issue of being hypocritical: Israel is objecting to Iran building a nuclear power plant. yes, I believe Iran has ulterior motives as well, but why not take the lead in stopping nuclear proliferation? Israel was once the leader in solar technology and the climate lends itself to solar energy. Why not work with what you've got? No pollution and nothing to feed rumors of nuclear weapons development. NO NATION NEEDS NUCLEAR ENERGY OF ANY TYPE. Yes, I'm including my own country as well.
18. Pathetic
Duderino ,   Chapel Hill   (08.01.07)
Iran MUST not be allowed to build a nuclear reactor! Forget that the NPT permits them. Forget that Israel is one of the few pariah states that did not sign the NPT. But Israel, sure, why not, they should build a reactor. A more despicable stance I have difficulty imagining.
19. beautiful military target
David ,   Paris, France   (08.01.07)
A nuclear plant will be a good target for kassams and for ennemies of Israel. A potential nuclear blast.
20. #15 Yes, real Megawatts with Wind or Solar power
iandl ,   Europe   (08.01.07)
Look, the potential in Europe is to produce 40% of energy needs with Wind (see this week's Economist) Israel has enormous Solar potential all year round. There is a vast amount of potential to reduce energy needs in Israel through any insulation, let alone decent insulation, of buildings (we're talking of probably 20% of energy needs). I can't quite see why nuclear is any better for desalination than any other source of electricity production. There might even be something to be said for using EXCESS power from alternative sources, to do the desalination work, since water can be stored once it has been produced. Nuclear power is not economic, and once it becomes so, alternative energy sources are even more so. It might make some sense in a country like France which has series production of power stations, but this will never be the case in Israel. Moreover to have security of supply you'll need a couple to have redundance, and if one doesn't use Nuclear for backup, then why use it at all? And in an insecure place like Israel, there is a lot to be said for decentralising energy production. If you have one nuclear power plant, if it has to be shut down, you're scuppered. Basically there is absolutely nothing going for it, unless one has an overriding political need to produce more plutonium, but that is not at all clear in Israel's case since over the years it will have accumulated quite a stockpile. Seems like more a case of toys for the boys (who want to prove themselves grown-up but have not yet learnt what real wisdom is).
21. Is America expected to pay for this too?
Gene ,   Raleigh   (08.01.07)
Folks, we're tapped out...please stop knocking our door.
22. Nuclear waste can be reprocessed
to #16 ,   Helena   (08.01.07)
many countries reprocess their nuclear waste and there are advanced reprocessing technologies available.
23. To #20, Nuke power is environmentally safe
Mike ,   Atlanta, USA   (08.01.07)
Read Richard Rhodes's essay entitled "The Need for Nuclear Power" from the Jan/Feb 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs.
24. Solar Energy People #13
Juan ,   Spain   (08.01.07)
John says: If we do not start taking care of our planet, we will lose it.!!!!!!! John: Have a look at what the prophets have said in the bible. The end times are already here, carbon footprints are a lie and irrelevant. God will have the last say.
25. To #23 - Ask the former residents of Chernobyl how safe
JPS ,   Efrat   (08.01.07)
Oh yes, nuke plants have been known to go critical and render hundreds of square kilometers unfit for human habitation. Doh!
26. #24: Cite Your Torah To Backup You Words
emanon ,   USA   (08.01.07)
27. Solar power
Raoul ,   Netanya Israel   (08.01.07)
What is it with Israel, that our expertise is used far more abroad than locally. We are setting up the world's largest solar energy plant in the world in California, while a set-up for the Negev has been waiting four years for a decision to go ahead. Solar won't provide all our needs, but surely this is the way to go - NOW - before talking nuclear.
28. JPS, you're frozed in time and space
Mike ,   Atlanta, USA   (08.01.07)
If Israel today produced technology akin to 1970s Soviet's leading edge, then you might as well give back all of Israel to the Palis because you have no hope of survival, with or without nuclear tech. So which "nuke plants" do you really refer to, JPS? You mentioned one disaster, occurring on Soviet tech. Any others?
29. To #2 - Duncan Willy
LB ,   Tel Aviv   (08.01.07)
Duncan, Talkback #10 says it all....
30. #22 Reprocessing increases waste to be disposed off
iandl ,   Europe   (08.01.07)
Reprocessing is only worth it if you want to burn Plutonium, but both the reprocessing, the fuel manufacture afterwards and the reactor technology have been abandoned by the industry because they are too difficult, too expensive and too dirty. Once uranium reserves start to run low, one might want to look at them again, but that will be a long time in the future since uranium is plentiful and the plutonium in spent fuel will still be around then, and for a lot longer afterwards too if we ever need it. You can extract it when the time comes. You don't want to even start reprocessing if you can avoid it (ask the French, British, the Irish and the Scots about their various experiences with these technologies) It is easier to deal with the waste if you don't reprocess. There is an enormous literature on all this in English, French and German which has accumulated since the early 1970's: go away and spend some time reading it. And don't believe anything the nuclear industry says since they have tried to cover up problems at every stage. It is no accident that hardly any reactors have been ordered since the late 1970's -- and not just because of popular opposition but because they don't cover their costs unless governments underwrite them to the tune of billions (and noone has any realistic idea of the long-run costs of cleaning up and disposing safely of the mess afterwards) All that has happened is that some of the companies concerned are hoping that they can get new contracts on the back of global warming, but they are peddling more problems than would arise from other in the meantime proven, easier and safer technologies.
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