On June 13th, 1952 Mr. David Ben-Gurion, then Prime Minister of Israel, declared the establishment of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC).
The IAEC operates two research centers: the Soreq Nuclear Research Center and the Nuclear Research Center Negev. The IAEC is headed by the Director General who reports directly to the Prime Minister.
The IAEC advises the Government of Israel in areas of nuclear policy and in setting priorities in nuclear research and development. The commission implements governmental policies and represents the State of Israel in international organizations in the nuclear field, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEC maintains relations with relevant national authorities of other states.
The Commission's activities began in a research institute near Rehovot. In 1958 the Soreq Nuclear Research Center was founded. The Soreq research reactor was first operated in 1960. The Nuclear Research Center Negev was established at the end of 1959, and the research reactor in the center was operated afterwards. The location was chosen as part of the policy for the development of the Negev Desert.