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Security at Israel's nuclear reactor "severely deficient": report

(Xinhua)

16:22, November 30, 2011

JERUSALEM, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Security arrangements at the Dimona nuclear reactor have been "severely deficient" for years, making Israel's super-secret desert facility vulnerable to a breach, the Israel Hayom daily reported Tuesday.

Several inspections of the site, conducted by the Israeli army' s Home Front Command, determined that its ground security units lack the means to provide adequate protection from potential attacks, the report said.

It remained unclear when the last inspection was carried out, but one defense official who spoke with the newspaper described its findings as "shameful."

"You'd expect Israel's most strategic facility to receive the best security that the state can provide, but the situation was that the reactor was even less protected than some of Israel's borders," the official said. He spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The latest findings prompted the defense establishment to recently allocate 30 million shekels (8 million U.S. dollars) to bolster security at Dimona, also known as the Negev Nuclear Research Center. The funds are now being invested in acquiring more vehicles, cameras and other electronic surveillance measures, the report said.

Israel refuses to acknowledge possessing an arsenal of nuclear weapons as part of an official policy of "nuclear ambiguity." According to the often quoted policy, the Jewish state will not be the first or last country in the Middle East to introduce nuclear weapons to the region.

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