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American-israeli Board Ratifies Report on Desalting Plant in Israel

Establishment of a nuclear desalting plant in Israel is feasible from both technological and economic viewpoints, and erection can be achieved by 1972, according to findings made known today at a meeting of the Joint American-Israeli Desalting Board.

It was meanwhile made known that cooperation of America and Israel in desalting will be expanded, and that Israel will be asked to participate in basic studies in the United States. A complete exchange of information will be maintained between the two countries. Confidence in American industrial circles about the feasibility of the Israeli project is expected to boost U.S. industries connected with desalting plants.

The purpose of today’s meeting was the discussion of the interim report submitted by the Kaiser-Catalytic Co. This firm conducted the feasibility study that began in Israel in January, 1965. The report was ratified by the Joint Board. The Board found enough data to support belief that erection of the plant can be achieved, within the contemplated schedule, by 1972.

The final report will be submitted by Kaiser-Catalytic by the end of November, 1965. Experts will elaborate their study and have decided to concentrate on a dual-purpose nuclear plant, expected to provide 200 megawatts of electricity and 100 milt-lion -allows of desalted water per day.

It was estimated that a capital investment of $150,000,000 to $175,000,000 will be required for this plan to obtain fresh water at a cost of 26 cents to 60 cents per thousand gallons, based upon interest of between 5 and 10 percent. The feasibility study will pursue further research for more detailed data concerning the various given factors and application.

The Board recognized the need for a development project in which various components required for the Israeli project will be tested, including raw materials. The Office of Saline Waters of the U.S. Department of the Interior will soon start construction of its own testing plant on the American West Coast. It will test various components required for the Israeli project. The data from these tests, it is hoped, will be available by the end of 1967, which means it would be incorporated in time for the proposed Israeli schedule calling for completion by 1972. The meeting took place at the U.S. Department of the Interion. The Israeli team was headed by Gen. Tzvi Tsur, chief coordinator of the Israeli desalting project. Kenneth Holum, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Power, took part, along with other saline water and nuclear authorities of the U.S. Government.

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