Dimona Nuclear Reactor to Be Renamed After Deceased Israeli President Shimon Peres

Prime Minister Netanyahu announces intention to rename nuclear research center recognizing Peres' contribution to Israel's nuclear knowledge.

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A partial view of Israel's Dimona nuclear power plant in the southern Negev desert.
A partial view of Israel's Dimona nuclear power plant in the southern Negev desert.Credit: AFP
JTA
JTA

The Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel will be renamed in honor of the late Shimon Peres.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement that he intends to have the Nuclear Research Center-Negev renamed for Peres at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

“Shimon Peres worked greatly to establish this important enterprise, an enterprise which is important to the security of Israel for generations, and I think that it would be right and proper to rename the center after him,” Netanyahu said Sunday morning.

Peres, a former president and prime minister of Israel, founded Israel’s arms production industry and led efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. His work led to the building of the nuclear reactor at Dimona, in secret and with French assistance beginning in the late 1950s. The reactor became active between 1962 and 1964. According to reports, enough plutonium has been produced at the reactor at Dimona to fuel between 100 and 200 nuclear bombs.

Peres died on September 28 at the age of 93. Shortly after Peres’ death, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz discussed the possibility of renaming the heavily trafficked Ayalon Highway after Peres.

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