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Teller Urges Israel to Build Nuke Reactors Against Bomb Attacks

December 14, 1982
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Nuclear physicist Dr. Edward Teller advised the Israeli government to build both nuclear reactors as deterrents against attacks and a nuclear power plant for the nation’s energy needs.

Teller offered these recommendations during a lecture on “Perspectives on the Energy Problem” at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The “Father of the Hydrogen Bomb” was in Israel last week to advise the government on its energy needs. Any contemplated nuclear facility would most likely be located in the Negev region and related to the existing desert research projects currently being conducted by Ben Gurion University as part of the University’s overall program of helping to build the region, which constitutes Israel’s largest underdeveloped land mass, a university spokesman said.

“If you in Israel want to build nuclear reactors, I think you should as a precaution against aerial bombardment,” Teller said. He suggested that the government develop an underground nuclear power station.

The 74-year-old American scientist, who is the chairman of the Committee to Draw-up Nuclear Power Plant Regulations, did not disparage the advantage of coal for Israel. “Through the coming decades, coal will probably play an increasingly important role. The two major drawbacks to coal use,” he said, “are the relatively high expense entailed in loading, transporting, and storing the substance, and the pollution it causes. These problems can be overcome.”

Teller met with Israel’s Minister for Science and Development, Yuval Ne’eman, to discuss plans for a nuclear power reactor.

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