IAEA to examine Dimona effect

The UN nuclear watchdog has said it will send experts to Jordan to verify whether the Dimona nuclear plant in Israel is emitting high levels of radiation.

    Israel's Dimona N-plant is at the centre of a radiation dispute

    "We have received a request from the Jordanian Government to assist them in monitoring the radiological situation," Mark Gwozdecky, spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Saturday.

    He added: "We agreed to send a fact-finding mission in the coming weeks to help them determine whether there is any radiological incident." 

    The request came from Jordan's parliamentary health and environment committee after former Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu warned that the plant, built in the late 1950s with the help of France in the southern Negev desert, could become a "second Chernobyl". 

    Vanunu, a former technician, served an 18-year prison sentence in Israel for revealing secrets about the plant.

    Chernobyl was a nuclear plant that exploded in the then Soviet republic of Ukraine in 1986, causing the world's worst civilian nuclear accident.

    No proof

    But a diplomat based in Vienna, where the IAEA is headquartered, said there is no proof of any contamination from the Dimona plant. 

    Jordan's government insists the
    country is free of contamination

    "There is no evidence of radiation ... nobody has ever gotten near Dimona," he said.

    Jordan said in August it was preparing to invite UN experts from the IAEA to carry out independent surveys in the kingdom to eliminate any fear of contamination from the plant in neighbouring Israel. 

    However, Jordan Government spokeswoman Asma Khadr has insisted the country is free of any contamination from the ageing Israeli reactor and reiterated that radiation levels are normal. 

    The IAEA said it had had no similar request from Israel, which maintains a high level of secrecy around its nuclear programmes.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive Thailand's censorship crackdown in this interactive game.