Israel Buys Supply of Pills to Protect Against Nuclear Radiation

Defense establishment mulling whether to distribute the pills to towns located near the nuclear reactor or store them away.

Defense establishment officials reported on Sunday that Israel has recently purchased a new supply of "Logol" pills against nuclear radiation.

The pills were first experimentally distributed in 2004 to residents of Arad and Yavneh in southern Israel, and were met with strong opposition from the mayors of these Negev towns.

The initiative to repurchase the pills was reported by officials on Sunday as part of a visiting delegation of Knesset Members to the Soreq Nuclear Research Center, located southeast of Dimona.

However, the defense establishment is still mulling whether to redistribute the pills to residents of communities located near the nuclear reactor or store them away for the time being.

Dr. Dan Berkovits, from the Soreq Nuclear Research Center, said during Sunday's visit to the site that an electrical particle accelerator will be activated March 10, and is supposed to take over all the functions currently being done by the Soreq reactor, including nuclear medicine and aviation.

"If Israel manages to adhere to the schedule, it would be the first country to replace a nuclear reactor with a particle accelerator," Berkovits said. However, he did not comment on whether the reactor would be shut down because of the new accelerator.

MK Ophir Pines-Paz, head of the Knesset's Interior Committee, said that the accelerator marks a "step in the right direction."