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Gen. Eisenhower Proposes Plan for Nuclear-powered Mid-east Desalting Plants

May 29, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower has proposed a plan for nuclear-powered water desalting plants in the Middle East which he says can help promote a lasting peace between Israel and the Arab states because the plan has advantages “so great that the hostile states of the Middle East simply cannot afford to withhold their cooperation.” Gen. Eisenhower outlined his plan in an article published in the June Readers Digest. The Eisenhower plan calls for the construction of three nuclear-powered water desalination plants that would produce more than a billion gallons of fresh water daily from the sea to irrigate some 1,750 square miles of barren land. Two of the plants would be located on the Mediterranean coast and one on the Gulf of Aqaba. They would more than double the average daily flow of the three main tributaries of the Jordan River, Gen. Eisenhower said.

The proposed plants would produce the sweet water at a cost no greater than 15 cents per 1,001 gallons, about one-sixth the cost of desalting water in plants using conventional fuels. In addition to the water, the plants would produce great quantities of electric power which would bring the Middle East “vast new complexes of industry, just as it has to many other parts of the world,” Gen. Eisenhower wrote. He proposed that the nuclear plants be paid for by selling stock to private and governmental investors. He would have the program administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations. The latter would allocate uranium for the atomic reactors and would make sure that none is ever used for military purposes. Gen. Eisenhower wrote.

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