Photo: Hagai Aharon

Israel considers building nuclear plant

Infrastructure ministry, Prime Minister’s Office officials seriously discuss establishing nuclear power plant for production of electricity. Experts say construction could take at least eight years

A nuclear power plant for the production of electricity may soon be built in Israel. 

The country has toyed with the idea for decades, but recent discussions in the Prime Minister's Office and the Infrastructure Ministry point to a more serious consideration of nuclear power as an environmentally friendly way of generating electricity.


The idea has recently become more popular amongst ministry officials due to Israel’s dependency on outside sources for fuel, air pollution as a result of existing power stations, and the Israel Electric Corporation’s shrinking ability to supply enough power for the country.


If the idea were to become a reality, Israel would be forced to allow international supervision of the power plant. The ambiguity surrounding the country’s nuclear abilities would thus diminish, if not completely disappear.


Experts in the energy field have begun considering how to set up the plant without harming Israel’s ambiguity regarding its nuclear capabilities.


Harsh international opposition

Possible locations for the proposed plant have also been considered, and despite a 30-year-old government decision to allocate land in the Negev for this purpose, Israel may well consider the possibility of building the plant in cooperation with a neighboring country.


Experts in the energy field estimate that the cost of building a nuclear power plant could reach $2 billion – only slightly more than the cost of building technologically advanced coal power plants that are meant to emit far less pollution than older models.


Once Israel approves the plant, experts say it will take at least eight years before it is completed; four years to plan it and obtain the necessary permits from authorized bodies, and four more years to actually build it.


Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Infrastructure Ministry discussed the probability of harsh international opposition, should Israel decide to go ahead with building the plant.


Israel, along with other countries around the world, has been fighting Iran’s attempt to expand its nuclear facilities, which the country claims will be used for peaceful purposes.


פרסום ראשון: 08.01.07, 12:12
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