(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The IDF Home Front Command and the Israel Atomic Energy Commission will hold a
large exercise on Tuesday to simulate a missile attack against the Dimona
nuclear reactor in the Negev.
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Called “Fernando,” the drill is named for
the nuclear meltdown in 1959 in the San Fernando Valley near Los
It took workers a month to regain control of the reactor and
more than 50 years for the United States to clean up the contaminated
The drill will simulate a number of scenarios including a possible
missile attack by Hezbollah, Syria or Hamas against the reactor or a possible
earthquake that could destabilize the reactor’s core and spark a nuclear
Israel has closely studied the recent crisis in Japan following
the earthquakes in Fukushima that led to a nuclear meltdown at a number of
reactors, to draw lessons that can be applied in the event of a missile strike
on the Dimona facilities.
The last “Fernando” exercise was held in 2004.
On Monday, the IAEC released a statement ahead of the drill claiming that its
facilities were secure and that high-safety measures were in place to prevent
“The chance that a problem will occur and radioactive
material will escape at a level that will endanger the public is extremely
small,” the commission said.