The Dimona nuclear reactor in Israel garners new controversy after revelations that former staff members ‘were forced to drink uranium’ as part of an experiment.
In a recently-filed lawsuit, Julius Malick, who worked in Dimona for over 15 years, explained how he was ordered by his superiors to take part in a toxic experiment on five workers.
During the experiment, Malick and his fellow colleagues were forced to drink juice containing uranium and were then asked for a urine sample, which was then analyzed to determine how uranium is excreted from the body through urine.
According to Malick, the 1998 experiment was conducted without medical supervision and the dire health risks had not been explained to participants.
Under the Declaration of Helsinki on human experimentation, employers are obliged to obtain written consent from the workers and warn them of risks or side effects of the research.
Malick said he was threatened and forced into early retirement by the former director of the facility, Yitzhak Gurevich, and the director of human resources, Gary Amal.
He is now suing the Dimona facility for thousands of dollars in compensation, reported Haaretz.
The Israel Atomic Energy Commission has rejected his claims, arguing that the Dimona facility “has the safety and health of its workers as its highest priority.”
Malick, however, begged to differ. In his lawsuit, he further explains systematic maltreatment as well as a sheer lack of safety and medical services for Dimona employees, who had been exposed to great amounts of radioactivity.
He said he was declared persona non grata after he tied to improve the poor safety standards in the reactor.
Located in the Negev desert, Dimona houses Israel’s nuclear arsenal and is widely believed to be where around 300 nuclear warheads are stored.