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U.S. and Israeli Teams Start Discussion Today on Desalination Plan

Interim reports on the feasibility of the proposed United States-Israeli project for the construction of an atomic reactor which would generate electric power while, at the same time, providing Israel with desalinated water, will be studied at a meeting in Philadelphia tomorrow by the joint U. S. Israel teams, it was announced here today.

According to information here, the interim reports will indicate that the project would be feasible only if the amount needed for its development, estimated at about $150,000,000, could be obtained at relatively low rates of interest.

The interim reports were made by consultants selected by the two governments in line with the original proposal for research on such a project voiced 18 months ago by President Johnson. The reports were filed by the Kaiser Engineering Company, of Oakland, Calif., and Catalytic Engineering, of Philadelphia.

The consultants are said to have considered Israel’s need for a 200-megawatt electric generator and a distillation plant with a daily capacity of 100,000,000 gallons. With a plant of that size, the consultants are said to have asserted in their interim report, installation of a nuclear reactor would be justified.

The lower interest rates were seen as making the project economically feasible for Israel, resulting in the use of water from the Mediterranean Sea to provide Israel with sweet water. The joint U. S. -Israel team which will study the interim reports is scheduled to make final recommendations to the Washington and Jerusalem governments by October.

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