Observador 2012-03-03 17:14:18
Los Israelitas Saven lo que Es el Genocidio, Y segun trataron de hacercelo a ellos, ya ellos
saven como hacerlo pa’ lante..asi que los arabes deviesen de tener mucho cuidadito con los
World – Reuters
Israel Can Launch Nuclear Weapons from Subs -Report
Sat Oct 11, 1:53 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Israeli officials say Israel has modified U.S.-made Harpoon cruise
missiles so it can launch nuclear warheads from submarines, the Los Angeles Times reported on
The State Department and Pentagon (news – web sites) declined to comment on the report, as did an
Israeli military spokesman, in line with that nation’s policy of refusing to say if it has nuclear
Israel is regarded as the only nuclear power in the Middle East.
According to a story posted on the newspaper’s Web site, U.S. officials disclosed the information as
a caution to Israel’s enemies amid heightened tensions in the region and concern over Iran’s atomic
The newspaper said two U.S. administration officials described the Israeli modifications and an
Israeli official confirmed it. All three asked not to be identified.
According to the U.S. officials, Israel modified nuclear warheads to fit the widely used Harpoon
cruise missile. They would be carried on three diesel-powered submarines delivered by a German
builder at the end of the last decade.
An Israel Navy Web site said the submarines carry Harpoon missile but does not give details on the
Deployed by the U.S. Navy (news – web sites) since 1977, the Harpoon is in the arsenal of 28
nations. Israel has 120 Harpoons capable of submarine launch, according to various researchers. That
version is 15 feet long and weighs 1,500 pounds with a range of 70 miles or more. It can carry a
A book published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2002 said Israel was
attempting to arm its submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
The Israeli nuclear weapons program grew out of the conviction that the Holocaust justified any
measures Israel took to ensure its survival. Consequently, Israel has been actively investigating
the nuclear option from its earliest days. In 1949, HEMED GIMMEL a special unit of the IDF’s Science
Corps, began a two-year geological survey of the Negev desert with an eye toward the discovery of
uranium reserves. Although no significant sources of uranium were found, recoverable amounts were
located in phosphate deposits.
The program took another step forward with the creation of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission
(IAEC) in 1952. Its chairman, Ernst David Bergmann, had long advocated an Israeli bomb as the best
way to ensure “that we shall never again be led as lambs to the slaughter.” Bergmann was also head
of the Ministry of Defense’s Research and Infrastructure Division (known by its Hebrew acronym,
EMET), which had taken over the HEMED research centers (HEMED GIMMEL among them, now renamed Machon
4) as part of a reorganization. Under Bergmann, the line between the IAEC and EMET blurred to the
point that Machon 4 functioned essentially as the chief laboratory for the IAEC. By 1953, Machon 4
had not only perfected a process for extracting the uranium found in the Negev, but had also
developed a new method of producing heavy water, providing Israel with an indigenous capability to
produce some of the most important nuclear materials.
For reactor design and construction, Israel sought the assistance of France. Nuclear cooperation
between the two nations dates back as far as early 1950’s, when construction began on France’s 40MWt
heavy water reactor and a chemical reprocessing plant at Marcoule. France was a natural partner for
Israel and both governments saw an independent nuclear option as a means by which they could
maintain a degree of autonomy in the bipolar environment of the cold war.
In the fall of 1956, France agreed to provide Israel with an 18 MWt research reactor. However, the
onset of the Suez Crisis a few weeks later changed the situation dramatically. Following Egypt’s
closure of the Suez Canal in July, France and Britain had agreed with Israel that the latter should
provoke a war with Egypt to provide the European nations with the pretext to send in their troops as
peacekeepers to occupy and reopen the canal zone. In the wake of the Suez Crisis, the Soviet Union
made a thinly veiled threat against the three nations. This episode not only enhanced the Israeli
view that an independent nuclear capability was needed to prevent reliance on potentially unreliable
allies, but also led to a sense of debt among French leaders that they had failed to fulfill
commitments made to a partner. French premier Guy Mollet is even quoted as saying privately that
France “owed” the bomb to Israel.
On 3 October 1957, France and Israel signed a revised agreement calling for France to build a 24 MWt
reactor (although the cooling systems and waste facilities were designed to handle three times that
power) and, in protocols that were not committed to paper, a chemical reprocessing plant. This
complex was constructed in secret, and outside the IAEA inspection regime, by French and Israeli
technicians at Dimona, in the Negev desert under the leadership of Col. Manes Pratt of the IDF
Both the scale of the project and the secrecy involved made the construction of Dimona a massive
undertaking. A new intelligence agency, the Office of Science Liasons,(LEKEM) was created to provide
security and intelligence for the project. At the height construction, some 1,500 Israelis some
French workers were employed building Dimona. To maintain secrecy, French customs officials were
told that the largest of the reactor components, such as the reactor tank, were part of a
desalinization plant bound for Latin America. In addition, after buying heavy water from Norway on
the condition that it not be transferred to a third country, the French Air Force secretly flew as
much as four tons of the substance to Israel.
Trouble arose in May 1960, when France began to pressure Israel to make the project public and to
submit to international inspections of the site, threatening to withhold the reactor fuel unless
they did. President de Gaulle was concerned that the inevitable scandal following any revelations
about French assistance with the project, especially the chemical reprocessing plant, would have
negative repercussions for France’s international position, already on shaky ground because of its
war in Algeria.
At a subsequent meeting with Ben-Gurion, de Gaulle offered to sell Israel fighter aircraft in
exchange for stopping work on the reprocessing plant, and came away from the meeting convinced that
the matter was closed. It was not. Over the next few months, Israel worked out a compromise. France
would supply the uranium and components already placed on order and would not insist on
international inspections. In return, Israel would assure France that they had no intention of
making atomic weapons, would not reprocess any plutonium, and would reveal the existence of the
reactor, which would be completed without French assistance. In reality, not much changed – French
contractors finished work on the reactor and reprocessing plant, uranium fuel was delivered and the
reactor went critical in 1964.
The United States first became aware of Dimona’s existence after U-2 overflights in 1958 captured
the facility’s construction, but it was not identified as a nuclear site until two years later. The
complex was variously explained as a textile plant, an agricultural station, and a metallurgical
research facility, until David Ben-Gurion stated in December 1960 that Dimona complex was a nuclear
research center built for “peaceful purposes.”
There followed two decades in which the United States, through a combination of benign neglect,
erroneous analysis, and successful Israeli deception, failed to discern first the details of
Israel’s nuclear program. As early as 8 December 1960, the CIA issued a report outlining Dimona’s
implications for nuclear proliferation, and the CIA station in Tel Aviv had determined by the
mid-1960s that the Israeli nuclear weapons program was an established and irreversible fact.
United States inspectors visited Dimona seven times during the 1960s, but they were unable to obtain
an accurate picture of the activities carried out there, largely due to tight Israeli control over
the timing and agenda of the visits. The Israelis went so far as to install false control room
panels and to brick over elevators and hallways that accessed certain areas of the facility. The
inspectors were able to report that there was no clear scientific research or civilian nuclear power
program justifying such a large reactor – circumstantial evidence of the Israeli bomb program – but
found no evidence of “weapons related activities” such as the existence of a plutonium reprocessing
Although the United States government did not encourage or approve of the Israeli nuclear program,
it also did nothing to stop it. Walworth Barbour, US ambassador to Israel from 1961-73, the bomb
program’s crucial years, primarily saw his job as being to insulate the President from facts which
might compel him to act on the nuclear issue, alledgedly saying at one point that “The President did
not send me there to give him problems. He does not want to be told any bad news.” After the 1967
war, Barbour even put a stop to military attach s’ intelligence collection efforts around Dimona.
Even when Barbour did authorize forwarding information, as he did in 1966 when embassy staff learned
that Israel was beginning to put nuclear warheads in missiles, the message seemed to disappear into
the bureaucracy and was never acted upon.
In early 1968, the CIA issued a report concluding that Israel had successfully started production of
uclear weapons. This estimate, however, was based on an informal conversation between Carl Duckett,
head of the CIA’s Office of Science and Technology, and Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb.
Teller said that, based on conversations with friends in the Israeli scientific and defense
establishment, he had concluded that Israel was capable of building the bomb, and that the CIA
should not wait for an Israeli test to make a final assessment because that test would never be
CIA estimates of the Israeli arsenal’s size did not improve with time. In 1974, Duckett estimated
that Israel had between ten and twenty nuclear weapons. The upper bound was derived from CIA
speculation regarding the number of possible Israeli targets, and not from any specific
intelligence. Because this target list was presumed to be relatively static, this remained the
official American estimate until the early 1980s.
The actual size and composition of Israel’s nuclear stockpile is uncertain, and is the subject of
various estimates and reports. It is widely reported that Israel had two bombs in 1967, and that
Prime Minister Eshkol ordered them armed in Israel’s first nuclear alert during the Six-Day War. It
is also reported that, fearing defeat in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis assembled 13
twenty-kiloton atomic bombs.
Israel could potentially have produced a few dozen nuclear warheads in the period 1970-1980, and
might have possessed 100 to 200 warheads by the mid-1990s. In 1986 descriptions and photographs of
Israeli nuclear warheads were published in the London Sunday Times of a purported underground bomb
factory. The photographs were taken by Mordechai Vanunu, a dismissed Israeli nuclear technician. His
information led some experts to conclude that Israel had a stockpile of 100 to 200 nuclear devices
at that time.
By the late 1990s the U.S. Intelligence Community estimated that Israel possessed between 75-130
weapons, based on production estimates. The stockpile would certainly include warheads for mobile
Jericho-1 and Jericho-2 missiles, as well as bombs for Israeli aircraft, and may include other
tactical nuclear weapons of various types. Some published estimates even claimed that Israel might
have as many as 400 nuclear weapons by the late 1990s. We believe these numbers are exaggerated.
The Dimona nuclear reactor is the source of plutonium for Israeli nuclear weapons, and the number of
nuclear weapons that could have been produced by Israel can be estimated on the basis of the power
level of this reactor. Information made public in 1986 by Mordechai Vanunu indicated that at that
time, weapons grade plutonium was being produced at a rate of about 40 kilograms annually. If this
figure corresponded with the steady-state capacity of the entire Dimona facility, analysts suggested
that the reactor might have a power level of at least 150 megawatts, about twice the power level at
which is was believed to be operating around 1970. To accomodate this higher power level, analysts
had suggested that Israel had constructed an enlarged cooling system. An alternative interpretation
of the information supplied by Vanunu was that the reactor’s power level had remained at about 75
megawatts, and that the production rate of plutonium in the early 1980s reflected a backlog of
previously generated material.
The upper and lower plausible limits on Israel’s stockpile may be bounded by considering several
variables, several of which are generic to any nuclear weapons program. The reactor may have
operated an average of between 200 and 300 days annually, and produced approximately 0.9 to 1.0
grams of plutonium for each thermal megawatt day. Israel may use between 4 and 5 kilograms of
plutonium per weapon [5 kilograms is a conservative estimate, and Vanunu reported that Israeli
weapons used 4 kg].
The key variable that is specific to Israel is the power level of the reactor, which is variously
reported to be at least 75 MWt and possibly as high as 200 MWt. New high-resolution satellite
imagery provides important insight this matter. The imagery of the Dimona nuclear reactor was
acquired by the Public Eye Project of the Federation of American Scientists from Space Imaging
Corporation’s IKONOS satellite. The cooling towers associated with the Dimona reactor are clearly
visible and identifiable in satellite imagery. Comparison of recently acquired commercial IKONOS
imagery with declassified American CORONA reconnaissance satellite imagery indicates that no new
cooling towers were constructed in the years between 1971 and 2000. This strongly suggests that the
reactor’s power level has not been increased significantly during this period. This would suggest an
annual production rate of plutonium of about 20 kilograms.
Based on plausible upper and lower bounds of the operating practices at the reactor, Israel could
have thus produced enough plutonium for at least 100 nuclear weapons, but probably not significantly
more than 200 weapons.
Some type of non-nuclear test, perhaps a zero yield or implosion test, occurred on 2 November 1966
[possibly at Al-Naqab in the Negev]. There is no evidence that Israel has ever carried out a nuclear
test, although many observers speculated that a suspected nuclear explosion in the southern Indian
Ocean in 1979 was a joint South African-Israeli test.