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Israel reportedly expands Dimona nuclear complex

Construction work at top-secret facility visible in satellite imagery, The Guardian reports

View of the nuclear reactor in Dimona, southern Israel, in 2016. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
View of the nuclear reactor in Dimona, southern Israel, in 2016. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Israel’s top-secret nuclear research facility near the southern city of Dimona is undergoing a major expansion, according to a British report.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper reported the development on Thursday, saying the construction work is visible in satellite imagery published by an independent expert group.

The section of the complex under construction is several hundred meters (yards) from the complex’s reactor and reprocessing plant, and the purpose of the construction is not known, the report said.

A researcher with the International Panel on Fissile Material, which first noticed the construction in the satellite images, told The Guardian that the construction appeared to have started in early 2019 or late 2018.

Israel’s Dimona nuclear research facility is officially called the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center.

To this day, Israel has never acknowledged that it has a nuclear arsenal, instead maintaining a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” while vowing that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

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