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Israel Electric Corp. Considers Nuclear Plant

Nuclear and solar power are two alternative energy sources that the Israel Electric Corp. is considering instead of burning more coal.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/25/2010, 5:07 PM / Last Update: 1/25/2010, 6:18 PM

Israel’s national electricity producer, Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), is considering building a plant for nuclear fuel as an alternative to the construction of another coal-power generating station. A host of obstacles face any plans for nuclear fuel, not the least of them opposition from environmentalists and the requirement that Israel sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Jordan already has announced plans to build a nuclear power plant, and the IEC might do the same, its deputy Chief Executive Officer Moshe Bachar said at a recent conference, reported by Globes.

"The era of chief electricity is over,” he said. “Environmental technology is significantly more expensive, despite technological improvements. In the coming years, we will have to create a mix of fuels, while conserving the environment and saving energy sources.”

He added that demand for electricity will grow because of an expected population growth of one million more residents by 2020, urbanization and extended life expectancy. IEC also is considering a gigantic solar energy plant as an alternative to a coal-fired station. A mammoth solar station would cover approximately 5,000 acres and cost $4 billion.

With natural gas also to be available following the discovery of huge reserves off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, Bachar predicts that coal-fired electric generating stations, which are a major producer of pollution, will be used only as a backup in the distant future.

Environmentalists' opposition to nuclear power plants are based on fears of an earthquake, sabotage or a technical fault, all of which could cause a calamity because of radiation leaks.