Warn of Nuclear Capability Lag

A nuclear scientist has warned that Israel will lag behind its Arab neighbors in nuclear capability unless it can find suppliers of nuclear technology outside of the United States. Prof. Shimon Yiftah, head of the Israeli nuclear center at Soreq, south of Tel Aviv, told the sixth annual conference of nuclear scientists at Beersheba University that Iraq and Libya, two of the most radical Arab states, were making substantial progress toward establishing a nuclear infrastructure with the aid of the Soviet Union, China and France.

Yiftah noted that Israel has not been able to procure similar technology from the U.S. since the Carter Administration has put a freeze on the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The 250 participants in the conference, chaired by Prof. Yigal Ronen, head of the university’s nuclear engineering department, also discussed radio-biological advances in fighting cancer, recent developments in fusion reactors and the replacement of rapidly dwindling sources of uranium by thorium.

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