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Israel, Egypt Initial Nuclear Reactor Accords with the U.S.

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Egypt and Israel initialed separate but “identical” agreements with the United States today for the transfer of American nuclear reactors to those two Middle East countries once President Ford and the Congress approve the action.

The State Department announced that Mohammad Eissa, the Charge d’Affaires at the Egyptian Embassy here initialed the agreement yesterday and Ambassador Simcha Dinitz of Israel did the same this morning. The initialing for the United States was by Gerard Helfich, a director of the Energy Research and Development Administration, and Dixon B. Hoyle, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. The Department specified in its announcement that the initialing was to signify the agreement is on the negotiating level.

The Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) will provide the completed agreements to the President and this is expected to be done in the next two weeks. After the President’s approval, the agreements will be submitted to Congress for its mandatory 60-day review, including a 30-day study of it by the Joint Atomic Energy Commission of Congress. The signatures to the agreements will be applied after final approval by the legislative process is completed.

SPECIFICS NOT AVAILABLE

The Department refused to give the substance of the agreements saying this will be done after the President makes his decision. The agreements then will be made public.

While the Department made clear that the agreements are “identical” in terms apparently of the safeguards and other factors, the size of the reactors may not be necessarily the same to both countries. It is understood that both Israel and Egypt will each get two reactors and Israel’s will be somewhat larger than Egypt’s. Israel also will not be required to reveal for inspection its existing nuclear capacity, an element which Egypt had originally demanded.

After the initialing ceremony, Dinitz told reporters that Israel will receive services that will enable her to have 1970 megawatts of installed electrical generating capacity from nuclear energy in the next 10 years.

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