New atomic energy commission head named

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert named Shaul Horev, a former deputy of the navy, as director-general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC), replacing Gideon Frank, who has held that highly sensitive position since 1993. Horev's appointment was approved by the cabinet on April 15, and he is to take over the position on September 1. Olmert, in his capacity as prime minister, serves as chairman of the IAEC - one of the most secret institutions in the country - and asked Frank to continue to contribute his expertise by serving as the vice chairman of the committee. The IAEC was established by David Ben-Gurion in 1952 and is charged with advising the prime minister on all matters concerning nuclear research and development. It is responsible for the nuclear reactors at Dimona and Sorek, and represents Israel in international bodies such as the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. Horev comes to the job from the Defense Ministry, where he headed a highly classified unit.