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Jordan to check for possible radiation from Dimona

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent
29/08/2004

Jordan will ask the United Nation's nuclear watchdog body to help it check whether it has been affected by radiation from Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona.

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Rai reported Sunday that the Foreign Ministry has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send experts and equipment to "determine whether there is a correlation between radiation from Dimona and the appearance of unusual diseases in the area." In addition, the agency will be asked to check radiation levels in the northeast of the Kingdom, along the border with Iraq.

A debate between Jordanian citizens and officials over the issue erupted last month after released Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that the nuclear reactor in Dimona was operated only when the wind blew in an easterly direction, toward the Kingdom. Vanunu's remarks were followed by a public outcry, which continued even after the government announced the matter had been checked in the past.

A Jordanian delegation of legislators will travel Wednesday to the region that borders with Israel just east of Dimona, in order to assess the steps being implemented by the Jordanian government to identify possible nuclear radiation.


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