Negev Nuclear Research Center

Negev Nuclear Research Center

Negev Nuclear Research Center

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The Negev Nuclear Research Center is an Israeli nuclear installation located in the Negev desert, about thirteen kilometers to the south-east of the city of Dimona. The purpose of Dimona is widely assumed to be the manufacturing of nuclear weapons, and the majority of defense experts have concluded that it does in fact do so. It is also reported to manufacture depleted uranium for armor-piercing shells. Israel acknowledges the existence of the site, but refuses to either confirm or deny its suspected purpose in a policy known as nuclear ambiguity. Information about the facility remains highly classified.

The airspace over it is closed to all aircraft, and the area around it is heavily guarded and fenced off. During the Six-Day War, an Israeli missile shot down an Israeli Mirage III fighter that inadvertently flew over Dimona. In 1973, Israeli fighters shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 after it flew over a forbidden area.

Its construction commenced in 1958, with French assistance according to the secret Protocol of Sèvres agreements. The complex was constructed in secret, and outside the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection regime. To maintain secrecy, French customs officials were told that the largest of the reactor components, such as the reactor tank, were part of a desalination plant bound for Latin America.Federation of American Scientists, An estimate based on the known power...
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