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American-israel Nuclear Desalination Agreement Announced in Jerusalem

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The special joint committee of technologists appointed by the U. S. and Israel governments to lay the groundwork for President Johnson’s plan for cooperation between the two countries in developing a nuclear reactor for use in the desalination of sea water completed the first stage of its deliberations yesterday and announced the scope of the program.

The committee comprising three Israelis and three Americans, will resume its deliberations in Washington next month and will present its final conclusions by October after receiving the details of costs of reactors and evaporators. The program calls for the nuclear desalination plant to become operational by 1971 with the production of between 80, 000, 000 and 165, 000, 000 gallons of desalinated water daily. The plant will also be capable of producing between 150 and 200 megawatts of electricity.

While the reactor will be of dimensions similar to reactors now under construction in the United States, its water production through an evaporator, will be 100 times more than that of the usual reactor. It was agreed by the joint committee that, in view of the large quantities of desalinated water the plant will be able to produce, the water will also be used to reduce the salinity of well water.

The joint committee was appointed by the two governments after an agreement on the project, first proposed by President Johnson earlier this year, was signed by Mr. Johnson and Israeli Premier Levi Eshkol during the latter’s visit to the United States in June.

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