U.S. Government Presents Israel with $350,000 for Atomic Energy Reactor
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U.S. Government Presents Israel with $350,000 for Atomic Energy Reactor

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Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, presented today $350,000 to the Government of Israel toward the cost of a research reactor recently certified as completed at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission’s Nahal Sorek Research Center. Presentation of the U.S. Government check was made by Dr. Seaborg to Israel Ambassador Avraham Harman during a ceremony in the Commission’s office here.

Commitment of the grant for the civilian-use project, a one-thermal megawatt, heterogeneous pool-type reactor, was made May 2, 1958. The Israeli research reactor was built by an American company, and achieved criticality on June 16, 1960. Uranium-235 fuel for the reactor was furnished by the United States, under the provisions of an agreement for cooperation which stipulates safeguards against use of the material for other than peaceful purposes.

In presenting the United States Government check, Mr. Seaborg said: “Israel, although a new nation, and one of the smallest in the world in population and area, has built up its scientific research and development to the point where it now compares favorably with that of advanced nations which have much greater resources and much longer experience in the field of science.


“Israeli scientists have already made significant discoveries in physics, chemistry and biology, ” Mr. Seaborg continued. “Only recently, I believe, we received a report from one of our consultants who has visited your varied nuclear energy facilities. He stated that in the near future, United States scientists will be seeking appointments in Israeli laboratories for specified training and work experience. It is my hope and expectation that the reactor at Nahal Sorek will prove a useful tool for further discoveries for the benefit of mankind. It gives me great pleasure therefore, to present you, Mr. Ambassador, with this check for $350,000 which represents the United States Government’s contribution to your reactor center at Nahal Sorek.”

Ambassador Harman, replying to Mr. Seaborg, said:

“In expressing the appreciation of the Government of Israel for this very tangible expression of the United States assistance to us in the development of our reactor center at Nahal Sorek, I would like to place on record, Mr. Chairman, our feelings of admiration for the leadership that your country has taken in encouraging and stimulating the development of scientific research and ability in the smaller countries, particularly in the area of utilization of nuclear science for peaceful purposes.

“Speaking from our own experience, I would say that this attitude and the practical expression given to it is a most encouraging and stimulating factor. In the search for true independence, no country can neglect the need to develop its human resources in the area of science and technology. These resources are as vital to general, economic development as they are to the spiritual development of countries.

“I am grateful for your kind remarks about the scientists in our country. I believe that in their attitude to their work they are moved by the consideration that there is no limit to the resourcefulness of the free human spirit. They are indeed citizens of a small land and members of a small people, but in the world of scientific research and development they bear equal responsibilities in the search for truth and integrity and in dedicating that search for the benefit of mankind.

“It is our hope that just as we are privileged to receive this assistance from the United States, which is the symbol of international cooperation in this as in so many other vital areas, we may in our own humble way, in the course of time, be able to make our own small contribution to human welfare.”

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