The Israeli Atomic Energy Commission denied yesterday that Israel had any connection with 200 metric tons of uranium reported to have disappeared on the high seas between Belgium and Italy.
The spokesman for the commission, Epharaim Tari, said: "We deny all aspects of the story which relate to Israel."
In Salzburg, Austria, Paul Leventhal, a former U.S. congressional adviser, said at an anti-nuclear conference that he believed that the uranium, which reported to have disappeared from a West German-registered vessel, had reached Israel.
Leventhal, former counsel of the Senate Government Operations Committee, said that several weeks after the ship failed to make its scheduled call at an Italian port with the uranium, "It reappeared with a new name, new registry, new crew, but no uranium."
He said intelligence sources from several countries investigated the incident in 1968 "but eveantually closed their probe of the case."
"It is assumed that it was unloaded in Israel," he said.
Leventhal said he had obtained details of the incident from a "non-U.S. non-Israeli source," and the report was substantially confirmed to him later by officials.
Leventhal, who gave no further details, was speaking at a conference on "A Non-Nuclear Future," a gathering of critics of nuclear energy from 20 nations.
He told participants that the incident illustrated the need for more rigorous safeguards of nuclear fuel and "the importance of international escort services for shipments of nuclear materials."