Paris (Apr. 15)
— Prof. Alfred Kastler a Nobel Prize winner and one of Israel’s best friends in France, denied today that the nuclear reactor and enriched uranium France had sold Iraq could be used for military purposes. Kastler, in a letter to Le Monde, said he had studied the question of French nuclear deliveries to Iraq at the request of Jewish Renewal, a militant group, and had also discussed the issue with other international scientists.
His conclusion is that "it seems out of the question that France’s deliveries (of a nuclear reactor and 12 kgs of uranium) could be used for military purposes."
The Nobel Prize winners warned, however, that the delivery of a nuclear pile enables the recipient state to develop its technology and scientific personnel and eventually, should it want to do so, could obtain the know-how to develop nuclear weapons on its own.
Kastler added, "some 30 research reactors have been sold by various other states and especially by the United States to countries which did not have previous nuclear experience but have accepted international control.
Kastler’s declaration created a small sensation in French political and Zionist circles as the Nobel Prize winning nuclear scientist is active on behalf of Israeli projects and Franco-Israeli scientific cooperation.