Origins and implications of nuclear ambiguity

Authored by: Arielle Kandel

Handbook of Nuclear Proliferation

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  February  2012

Print ISBN: 9781857436044
eBook ISBN: 9780203840849
Adobe ISBN:


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Israel is believed to have launched nuclear research and development activities shortly after it declared independence in 1948, under the leadership of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. As early as 1949 HEMED GIMMEL, a special unit of the Israel Defense Forces Science Corps, initiated a two-year geological survey of the Negev desert to search for uranium deposits and, at the same time, instigated research for a new method of heavy-water production. Although no significant sources of uranium were discovered, by 1950 small recoverable amounts were found in phosphate deposits in the northern Negev.

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