New satellite images have revealed that Israel is expanding its Dimona nuclear facility in the Naqab (Negev) desert, where it has previously produced fissile material used for nuclear weapons.
Images released on Thursday by the independent group International Panel on Fissile Material (IPFM) showed that construction work is underway for a major expansion.
New satellite imagery disclose significant construction activities at Israel’s secretive Dimona nuclear facility pic.twitter.com/ybzxwPpa9s
— Press TV (@PressTV) February 20, 2021
The construction is apparently taking place at the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center, a few hundred meters southwest of the domed reactor building and is, “centered around a large-scale excavation area with the size of about 140 meters by 50 meters,” according to IPFM.
It is not clear when construction started, but Pavel Podvig, a researcher for IPFM, told The Guardian, “It appears that the construction started quite early in 2019, or late 2018, so it’s been underway for about two years, but that’s all we can say at this point.”
Israel is expanding Dimona nuclear facility https://t.co/ZZ1FZYOnf5
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) February 20, 2021
No comment has been made by the Israeli embassy in Washington and no comment is expected to be given by the Israeli government.
According to estimates by the Federation of American Scientists, Israel has around 90 nuclear warheads made from plutonium produced in the heavy water reactor at the Dimona nuclear facility.
Israel is not a signatory of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)