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Israels nuclear history { October 12 2003 }

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October 12, 2003
Israel's Nuclear Defense History

1949: France and Israel set up a joint nuclear research project. Israel begins a geological survey of the Negev desert in search of uranium. Recoverable amounts are found.

1952: Israel creates an atomic energy commission.

1953: Israeli researchers perfect a process for extracting uranium and a new method of producing heavy water, providing the home-grown capability to produce key nuclear materials.

1956: France and Israel agree in secret to build a nuclear reactor in the Negev desert.

1960: U.S. intelligence determines that Israel has a secret nuclear facility.

1965: Israel performs its first plutonium extraction; France helps Israel develop its Jericho missiles.

1975: Israel receives nuclear-capable Lance missiles from the U.S.

1986: The Sunday Times of London exposes Israel's nuclear weapons program, using information from a former Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, above. He is convicted of treason and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

1987: Israel test-fires the Jericho II missile.

2000: First test of submarine-launched missiles is reportedly made in the Indian Ocean.

Researched by Times graphics reporter Tom Reinken

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