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Workers Strike At Top-Secret Israeli Nuclear Facility

IKONOS satellite file photo of Israel's Dimona nuclear facility.

Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 14, 2005
Workers at Israel's controversial Dimona nuclear facility went on strike on Monday to protest at job losses at the top-secret plant.

The top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper said nuclear equipment at the plant in the southern Negev desert would be functioning more slowly but that security officials said there was no cause for alarm.

"Should we be worried?" the paper asked.

Union official Shalom Chemla said the one-day strike was called as a warning over the management's decision to sack 400 workers.

Late last year, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ruled out the possibility of foreign experts coming to carry out independent safety checks on the reactor which was built with French aid at the beginning of the 1950s.

There have been a number of calls for the closure of the plant with campaigners arguing that the life span of such reactors is 40 years.

Israel has never publicly acknowledged that it maintains a nuclear arsenal but foreign experts say it has used the reactor at Dimona to produce between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads.

Israel is not a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treatyand, to the anger of its Arab neighbours, refuses to submit its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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Analysis: N.Korea Unveils Disarmament Plan
Seoul (UPI) Nov 14, 2005
North Korea recently proposed a five-step plan to gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons program, South Korea's chief security official said Monday.

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