Soreq Nuclear Research Center
Palmahim 31°55'59"N 34°42'26"E Bene Ayish 31°47'00"N 34°45'00"E Nahal Sorek 3 31°47'00"N 34°49'00"E Bet Hilqiyya 31°47'00"N 34°49'00"E
The Soreq Nuclear Research Center is located near Yavne, west of Beersheb, and shares a security zone with the Palmichim Air Base. The functional equivalent of the US Livermore or Los Alamos national weapons laboratories, it is responsible for nuclear weapons research, design and fabrication.
Under an agreement with the United States the Soreq IRR-1 5-MW swimming pool-type research reactor was constructed at Nahal Soreq in 1955. This reactor was placed under US and subsequently International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection. The Center was formally established in 1958, and currently has a total of over 200 employees. Activities at Soreq include research and development of nuclear weapons.
Nahal is a Hebrew acronym for Army units that set up and live in settlements with strategic value. But the terms is unrelated to do with "Nahal Soreq". Nahal in hebrew is foremost a stream / river. "Nahal Soreq" means the Soreq stream/river (it is dry most of the time, but this is not really relevant). Nahal is indeed also "Noar Halutzi Lohem" - Pioneer (Halutzi) Military (Lohem) Youth (Noar), which was a military organization for building new villages / argicultural settlements and such, inhabiting the land, etc.. Later it became the name of a standard military unit.
The Space Technology section at Soreq NRC encompasses all the durability and reliability aspects of spacecraft systems, materials and components in the space environment. It combines industrial projects with basic research on space environment effects.
ISORAD Ltd. represents SOREQ Nuclear Research Center (NRC) in marketing the center's products and expertise. ISORAD draws on the human resources and facilities of the center, which include over 150 scientists and engineers and a vast infrastructure of up-to-date research laboratories and shops. During 1997, Discount Investments and PEC (50.1%) together with with Izorad, the business arm of the Nahal Soreq Research Center (49.9%), established the Soreq Development Corporation. SDC is engaged in the identification and business development of companies operating in two primary areas: developing commercial applications of nuclear technology developed at the Nahal Soreq Nuclear Research Center and as a partner with Nitznanim, a technological incubator, part of the incubator program administered by the Office of the Chief Scientist of Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Although the Soreq facility is well attested in the open literature, readily available sources disclose neither the overall layout of the facility nor pictures of individual buildings. Declassified CORONA imagery from 1971 reveals a facility that is consistent with the reported location of Soreq. The facility features the robust security perimeter that would be associated with Soreq, and is generally of a scale that would be expected of this institution.
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