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Israel may develop nuclear power.

The Olmert government announced Wednesday that it was investigating the feasibility of setting up the first Israeli nuclear power plant to deal with the country’s growing energy demands.

Israel currently has two nuclear reactors, at Dimona and Nahal Sorek, both officially for research purposes. Dimona is widely believed to have also produced fissile material for an undeclared Israeli nuclear weapons arsenal.

Yediot Achronot reported that Israel wants nuclear power to offset its consumption of imported oil and gas, but that it fears international regulations on atomic energy that could lead to calls for foreign inspections of Dimona.

But the Israel Atomic Energy Commission said in a statement, “It goes without saying that any nuclear power station set up in Israel would be subject to international oversight.”

Israel’s interior minister called for a cap on admitting Sudanese refugees.

Meir Sheetrit said Wednesday that what was once a trickle of Sudanese crossing illegally into Israel through neighboring Egypt has now become a deluge.

“A year ago we had 300 people coming here from Sudan through Egypt,” Sheetrit told The Jerusalem Post. “Today we have 300 a week and, in my opinion, if we don’t stop it now, we will reach 3,000 a week.”

Many of the Sudanese have appealed to Israel’s sense of post-Holocaust humanitarian responsibility given the genocide in Darfur. But Sheetrit said that only around 300 of the migrants are indeed from the war-wracked region, with the rest coming in search of jobs.

“Israel can’t take in hundreds of thousands of people,” Sheetrit said. “As a Jewish state, Israel should take in a quota of people from Darfur, care for them and help them find jobs — like we have done for other groups of refugees in the past.”

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