JERUSALEM (Aug. 28)
Israel is considering the construction of a nuclear-fueled power station capable of producing 50,000 kilowatts of electricity, it was disclosed here by authoritative circles. The disclosure was made on the heels of a statement by Levi Eshkol, Finance Minister, that Israel expects to have an atomic powered electrical station in operation by the conclusion of her forthcoming five-year plan.
It is understood that at present estimates, the cost of building an atomic reactor to produce electric power is $20,000,000, about twice as great as building a conventional oil-driven steam plant. However, once built, the atomic plant costs no more to operate than the conventional unit.
Despite its expense, Israel looks forward to atomic production of electric power because nuclear fuel will relieve Israel of the need for purchasing expensive fuel oil abroad and at the same time relieve her of a security headache springing from the possibility of her oil supply lines being cut in the event of hostilities. Additionally, it is hoped that when Israel begins construction, in two to three years, nuclear building costs will have been lowered by improved technology.