Israel Agrees to Initial $2b Nuclear Plants Pact with the U.S.

The first step toward the establishment of two nuclear power plants for civilian use in Israel in cooperation with the United States government was endorsed by the Cabinet yesterday. The Israeli Ambassador in Washington, Simcha Dinitz, was authorized to initial a $2 billion draft agreement with the U.S. aimed at the construction of the plants with an aggregate capacity of 1,970 megawatts.

The agreement is for 40 years. The first plant is scheduled to be completed in the early 1980s. The agreement allows the Israel Electric Corp. to enter into practical negotiations with various American manufacturers who will supply part of the equipment for the projected plants.

The two nuclear power plants were promised by former President Nixon when he visited the Middle East in June, 1974. He told both Israel and Egypt at that time that the U.S. would supply them with nuclear reactors in what was regarded as an inducement for them to continue their disengagement of forces in the Sinai. Egypt has already signed a letter of intent to buy a reactor from the U.S.

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