Israel said to fortify nuclear reactors against Iranian missile strikes

Atomic energy officials say Iranian or Hezbollah attack on facilities unlikely to endanger population, but would serve as propaganda coup

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 Atomic Energy Commission is taking unspecified steps to fortify and safeguard the country’s two atomic reactors in the face of a potential Iranian missile attack, the Haaretz daily reported Thursday morning, citing commission officials.

Security services believe Tehran and its proxy Hezbollah view the nuclear facilities in Dimona and Soreq as prime targets in a future war.

Officials in the commission told Haaretz a missile strike is unlikely to endanger the population, but could constitute a significant propaganda coup for Israel’s enemies.

The commission recently held a drill simulating a missile strike on one of the reactors and actions to prevent subsequent radioactive leakage.

Last year the government said it has no intention of closing the the 54-year-old Dimona nuclear research facility, despite its age and over 1,500 structural problems.

The facility was originally intended to have a lifespan of 40 years and is considered to be the oldest in the world that is still operational.

But the government now plans to run it for at least two more decades, and says defects in the reactor’s structure are continuously monitored for changes and strict safety regulations are in place.

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