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Israel 'to unveil plans to build nuclear power plant'

8 March 10 16:54 GMT

Israel is expected to unveil plans this week to build a nuclear power plant, reports say.

They say an announcement will be made by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau at an energy forum in Paris.

Israel is facing a crisis over electricity supplies, but environmental objections have blocked efforts to build a new coal-fired plant.

Israel has two nuclear reactors, including the Dimona facility which is said to have produced nuclear weapons.

The secret reactor is located in the south of the country. Israel neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons under its policy of "ambiguity".

The other facility is a research reactor near Tel Aviv, which is open to international inspections.

Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is designed to curb the spread of nuclear technologies with bomb-making potential.

'Joint project'

Mr Landau is expected to tell the conference in Paris that Israel is considering building a nuclear power plant, reports say.

He has reportedly discussed the possibility of co-operating in the project with French Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, together with neighbouring Jordan.

France is one of the world leaders in electricity production from nuclear power.

In the 1950s, Paris helped Israel to build the Dimona facility.

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