Weapons research: Soreq is the equivalent of the U.S. national weapons laboratories and is considered by the Pentagon to be among the most sophisticated such operation in the world. It handles weapons design and construction as well as research.
Location: Soreq is near the town of Yavne and shares a security zone with the higly secret Palmichim Air Base. According to a 1987 Pentagon study obtained by NBC News, "The Soreq Center runs the full nuclear gamut of activities … required for nuclear weapons design and fabrication."
Capabilities: Soreq parallels much of the technology which has been developed at the U.S. Sandia, Livermore and Los Alamos national labs. "The capability of Soreq to support Star Wars and nuclear technologies is almost an exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our national laboratories," according to the report. It is involved in research into nuclear explosive detonation as well as the diagnosis of radiation effects on biological systems, including human beings, and the processing of various nuclear fuels. The Pentagon study - now ten years old - concluded that "as far as nuclear technology is concerned, the Israelis are roughly where the U.S. as in the fission weapon field from about 1955 to 1960," a time when the US was moving from nuclear to thermonuclear weapons.
Reactor: The facility is built around a five megawatt reactor supplied by the United States under the "Atoms for Peace" program in 1960. The U.S. supplied it with nuclear fuel through 1977, when its contract expired.