Radiation leaks caused illnesses, Dimona reactor employees say


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Employees at the Dimona nuclear reactor told an Israeli court that they were sickened with cancer and other illnesses due to radioactive leaks.

During a hearing Wednesday in Petach Tikvah District Court, the attorney for 44 employees and their families presented internal memos claiming that the leak of radioactive substances was caused by safety problems.

A former deputy head of Dimona’s Negev Nuclear Research Center safety division also testified that there had been radiation leaks, Haaretz reported.

The employees of the Dimona reactor and the Soreq Nuclear Research Center in the mid-1990s who filed suit want to be recognized as victims of work-related accidents. Some of the plaintiffs have died since the suit was filed. 

The Dimona plant is said to be the source of fuel for Israeli nuclear weapons, though Israel has remained ambiguous about whether it has such weapons. 

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