(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel is moving forward with plans to build civilian nuclear power plants,
although no specific goals have been set, The Jerusalem Post was told on
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beiteinu)
has been pushing nuclear power as a way for the country to meet its long-term
energy needs, and it will feature as part of the ministry’s national master plan
for energy, once it is drawn up. It issued a tender last month for a
However, since the master plan is far from complete, the
ministry does not know what percentage of electricity production would come from
nuclear power, or what percentage it would comprise of the fuel basket, if at
all, the Post
Any nuclear plans are at the very least a decade
away from fruition.
Israel has been talking to France about
fourth-generation nuclear reactors that are still largely under development.
It’s likely that once such reactors are
deployed in France, Israel would wait further to see how they perform, the
Nevertheless, Électricité de France Chairman Henri Proglio
is expected to visit here sometime this year, EnergiaNews reported late last
week. France is a leader in nuclear technology.
Eighty percent of the
country’s electricity is produced by nuclear reactors.
In March, Landau
led a delegation to a nuclear energy conference in Paris, where he told news
agencies that Israel was interested in a civilian nuclear option.
power has experienced a resurgence in the face of the pollution caused by fossil
fuels. Some argue that it’s cleaner than coal, while others are still haunted by
1986’s Chernobyl reactor meltdown in Ukraine and the potential for catastrophe
that is not inherent in coal or natural gas generators.
Despite the very
large natural gas fields recently discovered off the coast of Haifa,
pursuing a variety of fuel options.
Energy security dictates diversifying
fuel sources to prevent shortages or outages.
What remains unclear,
despite Israel’s interest in civilian nuclear power, is the issue of the
Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT. Israel is not a signatory.
maintained a policy of nuclear ambiguity since the late 1950s and has
consistently vowed not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into
Middle East. France allegedly provided Israel with the nuclear
construct an arsenal.
Faced with an emerging Iranian nuclear threat, it
is certain that Israel will prefer not to forgo any military advantage,
it highly unlikely that it will sign the NPT anytime soon.
can build civilian nuclear reactors under the supervision of the
Atomic Energy Agency without signing the NPT is an unanswered question.