An international NGO devoted to halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons recently released satellite imagery showing that Israel, for the first time in decades, was engaged in new construction at its Dimona nuclear site. The reactor there, which first became active in the mid-1960s, manufactures plutonium as fuel for Israel’s reputed stockpile of 80 nuclear warheads. This excavation has piqued the curiosity of nuclear experts and intelligence agencies around the world. Since the Dimona reactor has long since passed its projected lifespan, some have speculated that Israel may be building a new plutonium reactor. This seems unlikely, as this element is long lasting, and Israel has already produced enough for current or future needs. Some have speculated that the existing reactor is either substantially shut down or being decommissioned.
Middle East Eye 5th March 2021 read more »