Israel mulls building nuclear plant

Aug. 30, 2011 at 6:52 AM

JERUSALEM, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructure has asked for a feasibility study on building a nuclear power plant, Calcalist reported.

The daily business newspaper published by the Yedioth Aharonoth Group said in an exclusive report Tuesday the study, by an "external body," will examine plans for Israel's Electric Corp. to construct a plant in southern Israel that will provide 1,200 megawatts, constituting about 10 percent of the corporation's full capacity.

The study will also focus on declaring the area where the plant will be constructed ex-territorial, a territory over which Israel holds no sovereignty, the newspaper said. It called the plan a "diplomatic ruse" that would allow Israel to sidestep issues concerning its refusal to sign nuclear treaties subject to the scrutiny of international observers.

The ministry declined to comment on the report.

The newspaper noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told CNN in March he favored building a nuclear reactor in Israel.

The study was ordered despite recent gas discoveries off Israel's coast that guarantee a long-term source of energy, the newspaper said.

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