Pentagon Exposes 20 Years of Data on Israel's Nuclear Program

Declassified report blacks out info on America’s NATO allies, but exposes all nuclear programs in Israel.

The Pentagon just exposed 20 years of formerly classified information on some of Israel’s most important secrets. A newly declassified 386-page report contains details about Israel's nuclear developments and cooperation with America up to the mid-1980s. Though the report blacks out information on America's NATO allies, it does not protect Israel, instead offering two decades-worth of data on Israel's nuclear programs for all the world to see.

The report, "Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations," was created in 1987 by the Institute for Defense Analysis, an NGO operating under the Pentagon. The report was declassified in early February supposedly in response to a Freedom of Information Act request three years ago, but news of its contents is just starting to circulate in Israel.

The Jewish Press, which condemned the declassification as a "betrayal," noting the suspicious nature and timing of the report's release, provides a summary of some of its more "revealing" findings, including Israel's work on codes for the fission and fusion process, "which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs," and the "almost exact parallel" in the capability of Israeli facilities to key American laboratories. 

The report noted the "ingeniously clever" work of Israeli physicists at the research facility Rafael, but underscored that Israel had not attained a a level on par with America's nuclear programs, the Israeli nuclear technologies being largely based on "extrapolations of US equipment and ideas."

In some ways, however, Israel was "more advanced" than the U.S.. specifically in its "totally integrated" systems development operation. While American programs were separated in the various military branches, Israel used a "totally integrated" systems development operation.

Image above of the Dimona nuclear reactor taken by the American KH-4 CORONA reconnaissance satellite in 1968 (KH-4 CORONA /, public domain).