Workers from the Dimona and Sorek nuclear reactors are claiming they are getting sick with cancer due to negligence by administrators at the reactors and violations of safety regulations.
The workers filed a variety of complaints against the plants in Tel Aviv County Court, and are seeking NIS 76 million (USD 17 million) in damages .
Israel has often come under fire for housing what world organizations say is the building of nuclear weapons inside the Dimona plants. Israel has never confirmed or denied the accusations.
One shift engineer at the Dimona plant, who is 57, said "short cuts" were made during maintenance procedures in the reactor’s heavily radiated areas.
The worker, a 35-year veteran of the plant, claimed he had discovered he had cancer six years ago.
The worker said he and his friends used to enter what they had called “hot zones,” which are heavily radiated areas, shortly after the reactor was closed. He said he entered a “hot zone” to try to find leakage in the pipes and stayed there for about an hour.
He claimed management performed periodic radiation assessments of each employee to evaluate the amount of radiation he was exposed to, but said such evaluations often lacked precision.
The worker is demanding the reactor’s management transfer accurate records of the amount of radiation he has been exposed to and compensate him with NIS 8.5 million (USD 1.9 million).
Supervisor attacks management
A different worker, a Dimona reactor supervisor for 30 years, gave a number of examples for how safety procedures are not reinforced. He cited an incident in which he was forced to work without radiation-measuring badges and without a protective mask.
He said he was diagnosed with cancer at 52.