Nuclear energy in Israel
As a result of the nuclear emergencies at Japan's Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on March 17, 2011, "I don't think we're going to pursue civil nuclear energy in the coming years."
Since the 1980s, a site near Shivta in the Negev desert has been designated as the future location of a nuclear power plant. Previously, a site near Nitzanim was considered but was rejected in the 1970s due to strong opposition from nearby residents.
Israel operates a heavy water cooled and moderated nuclear reactor called "IRR-2" (Israel Research Reactor-2) at the Negev Nuclear Research Center (NRCN) near Dimona allegedly for research purposes, although many believe the installation's true purpose is the production of nuclear materials for use in Israel's nuclear weapons. This reactor does not operate under the inspection regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The NRCN also hosts a "national radioactive waste disposal site" for "Radioactive waste from hospitals, research institutions, higher education facilities and factories".
IRR-1, a small 5 MW pool type light water reactor exists at the Soreq Nuclear Research Center in central Israel. This reactor operates under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
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- "Nuclear Research Center - Soreq". Israel Atomic Energy Commission website. Israel Atomic Energy Commission. Retrieved 15 October 2016.