Nuclear energy in Israel

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Israel has no nuclear power plants. However, in January 2007, Israeli Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said his country should consider producing nuclear power for civilian purposes.[1]

As a result of the nuclear power 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."[2][3][4]

As of November 2015, the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources is considering nuclear power in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2030.[5]

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.

Research reactors[edit]


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[6] 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.[7] 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".[6]


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.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Israel Should Develop Nuclear Energy". Agence France-Presse. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  2. ^ Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu: Japan situation has "caused me to reconsider" nuclear power Piers Morgan on CNN, published 2011-03-17, accessed 2011-03-17
  3. ^ Israeli PM cancels plan to build nuclear plant, Xinhuanet, published 2011-03-18, accessed 2011-03-17
  4. ^ Netanyahu: We'll reconsider nuclear power plans Ynetnews, published 2011-03-18, accessed 2011-03-17
  5. ^ Energy Ministry mulls nuclear power plant for Israel Globes, published 2015-11-26, accessed 2015-11-26
  6. ^ a b "Nuclear Research Center NEGEV". Israel Atomic Energy Commission. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  7. ^ "Israel's Quest for Yellowcake: The Secret Argentina-Israel Connection, 1963-1966". Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  8. ^ "Nuclear Research Center - Soreq". Israel Atomic Energy Commission website. Israel Atomic Energy Commission. Retrieved 15 October 2016.