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Israeli Nuclear Scientists Acclaimed at Geneva International Parley

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Israel’s top status in the world’s scientific community as a country with vast experience in the peaceful application of nuclear energy was widely acknowledged at the third International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy which concluded its sessions today.

The conference, conducted by the United Nations and the UN’s international Atomic Enerny Agency opened August 31. Eleven papers were presented by Israel’s delegation of 21 scientists and other experts, headed by Prof. Ernst David Bergmann, chairman of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission.

One of the Israeli papers provided a first survey of the possibilities of creating atomic reactors having the dual function of water de-salting and electricity generation. The paper noted that Israel was in a peculiar position in regard to utilization of the two processes. Its electricity needs have grown by about 50 megawatts each year, while atomic reactors smaller than 300-megawatt capacity appear not to be economical. Israel therefore is hoping for the earliest possible consideration of an effective combination of the two processes, to justify the construction of nuclear reactors large enough to be economical.

ISRAELI SCIENTISTS ENCOURAGED BY PRESIDENT JOHNSON’S DESALINATION PLAN

The paper emphasized that Israel’s plans and hopes for desalting sea water had been “greatly stimulated” by the offer of President Johnson to establish a joint United States-Israel project to determine the applicability of nuclear energy for such desalting. Another Israeli paper added that Israeli scientists “expect to prove the feasibility of large reactors for water de-salting combined with electricity generation, and to establish a demonstration plant for other countries beset by the same problems.

“If the growing population of the world is to be saved.” Israel scientists declared, “it will require much more water for irrigation than it has today, and much more energy for fertilizer production, once this problem is solved by nuclear energy. Israel is making a determined effort in this direction.”

Dr.J. Tadmor, of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission’s research staff, took part in a discussion on the hazards of handling fissionable materials in chemical plants. He said that most nuclear-industry accidents had occurred in the chemical sections of nuclear plants. He reported that, because of the variety of safety problems, no general guide to the hazards was available. He then outlined a method of safety evaluation.

One of the outstanding Israeli papers combined the thinking of nuclear energy use for desalination of three scientists. They are Prof. Shimon Yiftah, of Technion–Israel Institute of Technology; Prof. F. Aschner and Pinhas Glueckstern. The latter are on the staff of the Israel Electric Corporation. The rest of the Israeli scientific delegation comprised a virtual who’s who in atomic science in Israel. Included were, in addition to those mentioned the following:

Prof. G. Goldring, of the department of nuclear physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science; Prof. G. Racah, rector of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem; Dr. Y. Heeman, of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. E. Arbel, of the Hebrew University; D. A. Bar-On of the Israel AEC. Dr. Ben-David, AEC. Dr. R. Bloch, Weizmann Institute; Dr. A.D. Braun, Hebrew University; Dr. T. Gozani, AEC; Dr. R. Levite, Israel Electric Corp.; Dr. Y. Marcus, AEC; Dr. Y. Naot, AEC; Dr. W. Rothenstein, Technion; Dr. Al Seroussi, AEC; Dr. G. Schwarzbaum, AEC; and Dr. J. J. Wagschal, Hebrew University; Dr. M. Zieger, AEC.

In addition, the Israelis here had the aid of the Secretariat of Israel’s permanent mission to the European Headquarters of the United Nations.

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