Shortcomings Seen in Israeli Atomic Site Protections

The Israeli military has deemed land-based protections at the Dimona nuclear facility insufficient for guarding the site against possible strikes, the Xinhua News Agency reported (see GSN, Oct. 27).

The conclusion -- based on multiple audits of the complex by the Israeli Defense Forces' Home Front Command -- resulted in an $8 million appropriation several months ago for the purchase of new monitoring systems and automobiles, the Hebrew-language Hayom newspaper reported.

The Dimona site is believed to have been key to Israel's nuclear-weapon program, though the nation follows a strict policy of neither confirming nor denying it holds an atomic arsenal. Some analyses suggest the site as of 11 years ago had been involved in the production of between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons.

An Israeli defense source said the determinations regarding security at the site were "shameful," though the timing of the most recent audit was unclear.

"You'd expect Israel's most strategic facility to receive the best security that the state can provide, but the situation was that the reactor was even less protected than some of Israel's borders," the source added.

One armed forces insider, though, said protections at the facility had "greatly improved" following the new security appropriation.

Israel maintains a no-fly area around the facility (Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 29).

 

November 30, 2011
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The Israeli military has deemed land-based protections at the Dimona nuclear facility insufficient for guarding the site against possible strikes, the Xinhua News Agency reported.