Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Brazil Seen Mastering Nuclear Fuel Cycle in 2010
Brazil is expected this year to achieve nuclear fuel cycle capabilities enabling it to mine and fully process uranium for use in power reactors, United Press International reported Tuesday (see GSN, Sept. 28, 2009).
The country was set to finish the initial phase of a facility for generating uranium hexafluoride, an intermediate step in the uranium enrichment process, said navy Capt. Andre Luis Ferreira, Brazilian nuclear propulsion program coordinator.
Completion of the fuel cycle would increase Brazil's independence from the United States and other nuclear fuel exporters, the official said.
Brazil's Aramar uranium enrichment facility is situated on a military site in the state of São Paulo. Uranium enrichment can produce fuel for civilian applications as well as material for nuclear weapons.
Brazil is the only country in Latin America known to be engaging in nuclear activities that could rapidly be tapped for military use, according to UPI. The nation once had a secret parallel nuclear program, but it has since signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and forsworn nuclear-weapon development. It has, though, at times clashed with the International Atomic Energy Agency over monitoring of Brazilian nuclear operations (see GSN, May 10, 2006).
Argentina also has a nuclear energy program, while Chile and Venezuela have mulled pursuing similar efforts with help from Moscow (United Press International, May 25).
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A new brochure describes the origins and the work of the Nuclear Security Project.
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George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn laid out their vision of a world without nuclear weapons and the urgent, practical steps to get there in a groundbreaking series of co-authored Wall Street Journal op-eds.
This article provides an overview of Brazil’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.