Film offers glimpse of Dimona reactor

BGU job fair tries to entice new workers to nuclear facility; IAC: No sensitive material shown.

dimona reactor 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
dimona reactor 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel's secretive nuclear facility is trying to recruit new workers with a rare glimpse of the interior of the reactor complex that shows "it's very pretty inside," a spokeswoman for the Israel Atomic Commission said Wednesday. The film was shown at a job fair at Ben Gurion University, not far from where the reactor is located in the southern desert town of Dimona. Nili Lifshitz, a spokeswoman for Israel's Atomic Commission, said this wasn't the first time film from the plant was publicly displayed, and no sensitive material was shown. "We showed footage to show the place is very pretty inside and that regular people work there," Lifshitz told The Associated Press. "This year a lot of people are retiring at once and the demand for engineers and physics experts is very high," she said, "and so we decided to show the film to compete with the other companies." Pictures extracted from the film of the facility published in Yediot Ahronot Wednesday show the nuclear compound lit up at night, a production line for equipment used in nuclear medicine and a radiation detector. Israel is widely believed to be the only country in the Middle East to have nuclear weapons, though it maintains a policy of "ambiguity," insisting it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the region, without confirming or denying their existence. Much of the evidence that it has nuclear weapons is based on details and pictures leaked in 1986 by Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who worked at the Dimona reactor. The details divulged by Vanunu and published in the Sunday Times of London led experts to conclude that Israel has the world's sixth-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, including hundreds of warheads. Vanunu was later kidnapped by Mossad agents and brought back to Israel to stand trial. Israel's doctrine of "ambiguity" is meant to deter potential enemies from attacking. Officially, the nuclear facility in Dimona and a smaller reactor in Soreq, nearer the center of the country, are for research.