Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer confirmed Tuesday that in the next few months he would submit to the government a plan to build a nuclear power plant in Shivta, in the Negev. In a speech he delivered to the Israel Electric Company's (IEC) Engineers Union, Ben-Eliezer said that the plan was being coordinated with the Prime Minister's Office and the Atomic Energy Association. The infrastructures minister claimed that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert supported the plan. Israel has in the past been reluctant to set up such a power plant since it requires international inspectors.
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In February, Israel Electric Corporation CEO Uri Ben-Noon said that Israel was considering building a nuclear power station to generate electricity.
However, the minister added that the option of generating electricity from nuclear energy was an option to be considered but he added that Israel was far away from it.
Nili Lishitz, spokeswoman for the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, said the idea of building a nuclear power station was not new.
The National Infrastructures Ministry is in the process of increasing the national effort to add alternative energy sources. One of the efforts includes setting up a fast track for the selection of projects in advanced stages of the development of alternative energy sources, possessing commercial potential and of interest to bring in the private market players.
SHARON WROBEL contributed to this report.