Israel is reportedly undergoing a major expansion of its secretive nuclear facility in Dimona’s southern town in the Negev desert, British daily The Guardian reported Thursday.
The most significant construction work in decades revealed by satellite images released by the International Fissile Material Panel (IPFM).
“It appears that the construction started quite early in 2019, or late 2018, so it’s been underway for about two years, but that’s all we can say at this point,” Pavel Podvig, a researcher with the program on science and global security at Princeton University, told the Guardian.
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The dig near Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center is about the size of a soccer field and several stories deep. The reactor holds underground laboratories that reprocess the spent rods to obtain weapons-grade plutonium for Israel’s nuclear bomb program.
Israel neither confirms nor denies having atomic weapons. Israel neither confirms nor denies having atomic weapons. The Jewish state has never joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty to stop the spread of nuclear arms.
The research facility was initiated in 1949 by the then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, with secret help from the French government.