The Atom: Into the Open

The news that buzzed through Washington last week marked another awesome milestone in the onrush of the atomic age. The confirmed facts: in the drab wastes of the Negev desert, tiny, semi-industrialized Israel, with the help of France, is building a 24,000-kw. nuclear reactor with the capacity to produce plutonium, a key ingredient for both a fission and hydrogen bomb. By 1964, estimated some U.S. atom experts, Israel could in theory set off a killingly effective atomic blast.

The news was cause for worry—not that anyone thought that Israel's David Ben-Gurion is less to be trusted with nuclear weapons...

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