The study is part of the reexamination of the plans for a nuclear plant in Shivta in the Negev region of southern Israel. The plant would be constructed by the Israel Electric Corporation and is designated to produce 1,200 megawatt which constitutes some 10% of the IEC's current production capacity.
Information obtained by Calcalist indicates that the feasibility study was not for the said site alone but also aims to examine declaring an area in Israel ex-territory, i.e. a territory over which Israel holds no sovereignty.
The diplomatic ruse would serve to sidestep issues arising from Israel's refusal to sign international nuclear treaties which would subject it to scrutiny of international observers in facilities used to stockpile nuclear weapons as claimed by foreign press.
Surprisingly enough, the reexamination was conceived despite the gas discoveries off the coast of Israel, which was supposed to provide Israel with a steady, long-term source of energy alongside its ongoing use of coal.
The notion of setting up a nuclear power plant is not new to the current administration and its leader – in an interview to CNN last March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he favored the idea of building a nuclear reactor in Israel.
Aside from Netanyahu, IEC chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal voiced his opinion on the matter. In the recent Negev Conference, Ron-Tal said he believes that within ten years Israel would have such a plant.
He added that following the nuclear disaster in Japan, constructing a nuclear plant is feasible as the equipment used in the field nowadays is much safer than that used by the Japanese to build their nuclear power plants.
The Ministry of National Infrastructures declined comment.
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