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March 28, 2016 3:04 pm

Israel to Recruit 7 New Nuclear Scientists for Physics Education, National Security Purposes

avatar by Ruthie Blum

The Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel. Photo: Wiki.

The Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel. Photo: Wiki.

A new program in Israel seeks to enhance the country’s nuclear-science capabilities, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Monday.

The program, conceived of by the Planning and Budget Committee of the Council for Higher Education and jointly developed with the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, aims to expand the country’s nuclear research by enlisting seven new scientists in the field.

The budget for cultivating the scientists is NIS 7 million (approximately $1.8 million). They will be identified and selected from among the most outstanding graduate students in physics; will receive generous research grants; and within three years will become faculty members at the country’s best universities.

According to the plan, two such scientists will be recruited next year; another two the following year; and the last three the year after that.

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An anonymous source involved in the program told Walla that there is a shortage in the field of nuclear energy in Israel. “It is crucial to get people turning to this area of study.”

Though the new scientists will become members of university faculty, their work can also be used for national-security purposes, the source said, such as relates to the Jewish state’s reactor in Dimona, for example.

According to Walla, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who chairs the Council for Higher Education, said, “The current grants are among a long list of scholarships we provide for the promotion of excellence in various fields. Furthering achievements in physics is no less a national need than academics in general. Beyond being crucial from a research point of view, the study of physics will enable scientists to assist in research in other fields – those about which the less said the better.”

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