Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Nuclear Energy Museum in Israel

The Nuclear Research Center in Soreq

While people speculate about Israel's nuclear capability, the city of Be'er Sheva is preparing to open a new museum: The Museum of Nuclear Energy.

The museum, to open in 2012, will be devoted to development of nuclear power in Israel and in the world. Some exhibit topics will be: "The invention of nuclear energy", "Inside a nuclear reactor" and "X-ray technology". However, the museum will not offer any substantive information of a possible Israeli nuclear program.

The museum will be located in a building inside the proposed Be'er Sheva Science Park, a new park to be built in the heart of the old sector of the city. Park construction will cost 30 million dollars. Nearly one million dollars in investment comes from by the Ministry of Education, the Ben-Gurion University and from the Nuclear Research Center in Soreq. Plans for this museum were made public recently.

The park will include scientific equipment designed to serve students who live in the hot southern region. Its founders believe it will help expose children, especially the very young, to science in general and nuclear energy in particular.

One of the films in the museum will show the history of nuclear science in the world. Photos relating to the creation of the Soreq and Dimona reactors will also be displayed.

One exhibition will explain the process involved in producing nuclear energy; Another will tell how heads of state such as David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir advocated the establishment of Israeli reactors. An interactive exhibit will replay experimention once used when it was discovered that radioactive radiation, composed of alpha, beta and gamma rays, act as conductors; Another will be a walk-through, allowing visitors to turn off a civilian nuclear reactor. One exhibit will explain how nuclear technology has been adapted to advance the field of medicine.

The Be'er Sheva Science Park, says Mayor Rubik Danilovich, "will serve to promote scientific education, culture, as well as tourism. This is a special park to educate the next generation of scientists in Israel, encourage curiosity, and I am sure that the various exhibits will give viewers the necessary inspiration."
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