Fact Sheet

Brazil Overview

Brazil Overview

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Brazil has never developed either chemical or biological weapons. From the 1970s to the early 1990s, however, Brazil appeared to many outside experts to be using its robust nuclear energy program to develop a hedge capability for nuclear weapons development.

The international community—and the United States in particular—were worried that Brazil might use the technology from its space-launch vehicle program to produce ballistic missiles. [1] However, by the early 1990s, Brazil had renounced all interest in nuclear weapons and curtailed its ballistic missile program after transitioning to a civilian government and ending a nuclear and missile rivalry with neighbor Argentina. Today Brazil operates a civil nuclear program with plans to expand its nuclear energy sector over the next decades. [2]

Nuclear

Brazil is one of the few countries to possess competencies in all major dimensions of the "nuclear fuel cycle, from mineral prospecting to uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication. Brazil has never developed nuclear weapons, and there is no evidence that it has the intention to enrich uranium above the 20% level. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, Brazil pursued an ambitious program of nuclear technology development, which included construction of an unsafeguarded uranium enrichment facility under the Navy's direction. [3] However, Brazil has since disavowed nuclear weapons and peaceful nuclear explosions (PNEs), and become a state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). [4]

With Argentina, Brazil established a bilateral inspection agency (the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), to verify both countries' pledges to use nuclear energy for exclusively peaceful purposes. Brazil is also a party to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), but it has not agreed to sign an Additional Protocol (INFCIRC-540) with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Some of the Additional Protocol's provisions, including unannounced inspections, are already included in the Quadripartite Agreement signed in 1991 by Brazil, Argentina, the ABACC, and the IAEA. [5] The 2008 National Defense Strategy (NDS) states that Brazil will not sign any additions to the NPT, including the Additional Protocol, until the nuclear weapon states have made progress towards nuclear disarmament. [6] Brazil is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which in June 2011 approved revised guidelines for the export of sensitive nuclear technologies and recognized the Quadripartite Agreement as an alternative to the Additional Protocol. [7]

Brazil is the only non-nuclear-weapon state with a civilian nuclear program that leases uranium enrichment technology from the state’s military. [8] Nuclear energy accounts for approximately 3% of the country's production of electricity, provided by two operating nuclear plants, Angra 1 and Angra 2. A third plant, Angra 3 is under construction and expected to begin operation in 2018. [9] As of May 2015 Angra 3 will be the last state-owned nuclear power station, encouraging a shift toward private investment in nuclear power. Long-term plans call for the privately sponsored construction, by 2034, of four 1,000 MWe plants, and the expansion of nuclear fuel production to meet both increased domestic and possibly international demand. [10] Four sites have been selected for the development of these new plants, with plans to construct the units between 2020 and 2030. [11] Brazil believes that it is possible for the state to be self-sufficient in its nuclear energy production. With one of the largest uranium reserves in the world, Brazil could potentially use domestically-enriched uranium to cover all of its nuclear fuel needs. [12]

In the wake of the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Brazilian government created a response plan that includes increased safety inspections, checks and guidelines at the existing nuclear plants to avoid similar disasters in the country. Plans regarding construction of the new plants were re-evaluated to incorporate the increased focus on safety. [13]

Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), a state-owned company affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology, oversees nuclear fuel production. INB operates mining sites with reserves estimated at 1.1 million tons. [14] In Resende, state of Rio de Janeiro, INB operates the Nuclear Fuel Factory (FNC), an industrial complex that houses factories and laboratories for re-conversion, uranium enrichment, fabrication of uranium pellets, and fuel element manufacturing. [15] The 2015 refueling of the Angra 1 nuclear power plant will use domestically-enriched uranium from the Resende plant. The new ability to use domestically-enriched uranium is due to more cost-effective nuclear fuel production in Brazil. [16]

Brazil is currently the only non-nuclear-weapon state that is in the process of developing a nuclear submarine. [17] To fulfill these goals, Brazil sought cooperation agreements with foreign partners, including Argentina, [18] France, and Russia. [19] France is assisting with the design and construction of a 4,000-ton nuclear submarine by providing the non-nuclear materials. [20] Operational testing of the submarine turbine was successfully completed as of May 2015. [21] The Brazilian Navy will equip the vessel with a nuclear reactor—the 2131-R pressurized water reactor being developed at Brazil's LABGENE nuclear site—and supply its fuel. [22] Though the Brazilian government has not officially confirmed the fuel type of the submarine, it will most likely use low-enriched uranium (LEU) manufactured at the USEXA facility. [23] Brazil plans to complete its first nuclear submarine, the Álvaro Alberto (SN10), by 2025. [24] Brazil hopes to eventually deploy a fleet of six nuclear submarines. [25]

Chemical

There is no evidence that Brazil has ever embarked on a chemical warfare (CW) program; to the contrary, Brazil is an extremely active participant in chemical weapons nonproliferation efforts. Even before the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) came into force, Brazil engaged in regional CW nonproliferation efforts. For example, in September 1991 Brazil, Argentina, and Chile signed the Mendoza Agreement, which commits signatories not to use, develop, produce, acquire, stock, or transfer—directly or indirectly—chemical or biological weapons. [26] Brazil participated actively in the negotiations for the CWC and ratified it in March 1996, thereby becoming a charter member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). [27]

Biological

There is no evidence that Brazil has ever developed or produced biological weapons. It ratified the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in 1973 and signed the Mendoza Agreement in 1991, which prohibits the development, stockpiling or transfer of biological as well as chemical agents. [28] Brazil's opposition to biological weapons is evident from reports that senior government officials oppose using biological agents even to control coca production in neighboring Colombia. [29] Brazil has one of the world's largest crops of the castor bean [30] (which naturally produces the toxin ricin), and is proficient in advanced dual-use techniques such as gene sequencing. [31] However, Brazil is an avid proponent of biological weapons nonproliferation.

Missile

In the early 1990s, Brazil abandoned its activities to build ballistic missiles, placed the Brazilian Space Agency under civilian control, and joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). [32] Previously, however, military control over the space launch vehicle (SLV) program and an ambitious short-range rocket export program had raised concerns in the international community that Brazil might develop ballistic missiles and export them to other countries, particularly Libya and Iraq. [33] The rationale behind Brazil's policy change can be attributed to various factors, including the transition to civilian democratic government, Argentina's dismantlement of the Condor 2 missile project, and Brazil's difficulty in acquiring sensitive technology for its space program due to constraints imposed on suppliers by the MTCR. [34]

Sources:
[1] Michael R. Gordon, "U.S. Seeks to Stop Brazil's Missile-Technology Deal," The New York Times, October 19, 1989, section A, p. 6, column 1, Foreign Desk.
[2] "Nuclear Power in Brazil," World Nuclear Association, May 1, 2015, www.world-nuclear.org.
[3] Joseph Cirincione, Jon B. Wolfsthal, and Miriam Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats, Second ed. (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), pp. 395-397.
[4] Alicia Godsberg, "Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT]," Federation of American Scientists: The Nuclear Information Project, www.fas.org.
[5] "Agreement Between the Republic of Argentina, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards," ABACC, www.abacc.org.
[6] Sarah Diehl and Eduardo Fujii, "Brazil's New National Defense Strategy Calls for Strategic Nuclear Developments," NTI Issue Brief, October 30, 2009, www.nti.org.
[7] "Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," Press Release n.237, Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 24, 2011.
[8] "Nuclear Power in Brazil," World Nuclear Association, May 1, 2015, www.world-nuclear.org.
[9] "Areva Signs Equipment Contract for Brazil's Angra 3," World Nuclear News, January 6, 2015, www.world-nuclear-news.org.
[10] Marta Salomon, "Brasil Quer Exportar Urânio [Brazil Wants to Export Uranium]," O Estado de S. Paulo, August 11, 2010; William Freebairn, "Brazil Plans Four New Nuclear Units by 2028, Industry Group Says," Nucleonics Week, Volume 52 / Number 8, February 24, 2011.
[11] "Nuclear Power in Brazil," World Nuclear Association, May 1, 2015, www.world-nuclear.org; "Westinghouse Applauds Brazilian Government's Nuclear Energy Plans <6502.T>," Reuters, May 5, 2015, www.reuters.com.
[12] Marcelo Teixeira, "Brazil Sees Expanded Private Role in Nuclear Power – Minister," Reuters, May 27, 2015, www.reuters.com.
[13] Chris Cote, " Brazil's Nuclear Power Plans Three Years After Fukushima: A BrazilWorks Briefing Paper," BrazilWorks, April 2014, www.brazil-works.com.
[14] André Borges e Tarso Veloso, "Brasil Investe no Processo do Urânio [Brazil Invests in Uranium Processing]," Valor Econômico, February 4, 2011.
[15] "The Nuclear Fuel Cycle," Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil, www.inb.gov.br.
[16] "Brazil's Angra Plant to Get Domestic Fuel," World Nuclear News, November 6, 2014, www.world-nuclear-news.org.
[17] "Nuclear Power in Brazil," World Nuclear Association, May 1, 2015, www.world-nuclear.org.
[18] In August 2010, Brazil signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Argentina for the joint design of research reactors to produce radioisotopes. Daniel Rittner, "Argentina e Brasil acertam parceria na área nuclear [Argentina and Brazil Sign Nuclear Deal]," Valor Econômico, August 4, 2010.
[19] Brazil signed a nuclear cooperation memorandum with Russia on July 21, 2009 following an agreement reached during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Brazil in November 2008. Potential areas for cooperation include: design and construction of research reactors, production of radioisotopes, and the development of technologies for power reactors and uranium prospecting. "Russia, Brazil sign nuclear cooperation memorandum," Interfax News Agency, July 21, 2009, www.lexisnexis.com.
[20] Janet T Coelho, "Brazil Plans to Expand Submarine Fleet," IHS Jane's 360, December 16, 2014, www.janes.com.
[21] Roberto Caiafa, "La Turbina del Primer Submarino Nuclear de Brasil Supera las Pruebas de Esfuerzo [The Turbine of Brazil's First Nuclear Submarine Passes Stress Tests]," Infodefensa, May 12, 2015, www.infodefensa.com.
[22] David Oliver, "Brazil's PROSUB infrastructure takes shape," Jane's Defence Weekly, May 2, 2013; Sarah Diehl and Eduardo Fujii, "Brazil's New National Defense Strategy Calls for Strategic Nuclear Developments," NTI Issue Brief, October 30, 2009, www.nti.org.
[23] Greg Thielmann and Wyatt Hoffman, "Threat Assessment Brief: Submarine Nuclear Reactors: A Worsening Proliferation Challenge," Arms Control Association, July 26, 2012; Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, "Brazil Moves Toward Nuclear Submarine," Arms Control Today, April 2013, Vol. 43.
[24] Paul Pryce, "The Brazilian Navy: Green Water or Blue?" Center for International Maritime Security, January 27, 2015, www.cimsec.org.
[25] Roberto Godoy, "Submarino nuclear brasileiro sairá do papel em 2016," O Estado de S.Paulo, July 7, 2012, estadao.com.br.
[26] "The Declaration of Mendoza," United States Department of State, September 5, 1991, www.state.gov.
[27] "Chemical Weapons Convention Signatories and State Parties," Arms Control Association, February 2015, www.armscontrol.org.
[28] "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction," The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, www.disarmament.un.org.
[29] "Biological Weapons in the Drug War. A Review of Opposition in South America," The Sunshine Project, Backgrounder Series, Number 3, December 2000, www.sunshine-project.org; "Brazilian security official concerned about Plan Colombia implications on border," O Estado de S. Paulo, September 5, 2000, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, www.lexisnexis.com.
[30] Elizabeth Johnson, "The Promise of the Castor Bean," Biodiesel Magazine, December 2004, www.biodieselmagazine.com.
[31] Larry Rohter, "Brazil Bounding Forward as Genomics Powerhouse," The New York Times, May 1, 2001, section F, column 5, Science Desk, p. 1, www.lexisnexis.com.
[32] "MTCR Partners," Missile Technology Control Regime, www.mtcr.info.
[33] Gary Milhollin and Gerard White, "The Brazilian Bomb, South America Goes Ballistic," New Republic, August 13, 1990, www.wisconsinproject.org.
[34] Wyn Q. Bowen, "Brazil's Accession to the MTCR," The Nonproliferation Review, Spring-Summer 1996, www.nonproliferation.org.

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Glossary

Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.
Biological weapon (BW)
Biological weapons use microorganisms and natural toxins to produce disease in humans, animals, or plants.  Biological weapons can be derived from: bacteria (anthrax, plague, tularemia); viruses (smallpox, viral hemorrhagic fevers); rickettsia (Q fever and epidemic typhus); biological toxins (botulinum toxin, staphylococcus enterotoxin B); and fungi (San Joaquin Valley fever, mycotoxins). These agents can be deployed as biological weapons when paired with a delivery system, such as a missile or aerosol device.
Nuclear energy
Nuclear energy: The energy liberated by a nuclear reaction (fission or fusion), or by radioactive decay.
Nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon: A device that releases nuclear energy in an explosive manner as the result of nuclear chain reactions involving fission, or fission and fusion, of atomic nuclei. Such weapons are also sometimes referred to as atomic bombs (a fission-based weapon); or boosted fission weapons (a fission-based weapon deriving a slightly higher yield from a small fusion reaction); or hydrogen bombs/thermonuclear weapons (a weapon deriving a significant portion of its energy from fusion reactions).
Space Launch Vehicle (SLV)
A rocket used to carry a payload, such as a satellite, from Earth into outer space. SLVs are of proliferation concern because their development requires a sophisticated understanding of the same technologies used in the development of long-range ballistic missiles. Some states (e.g., Iran), may have developed space launch vehicle programs in order to augment their ballistic missile capabilities.
Ballistic missile
A delivery vehicle powered by a liquid or solid fueled rocket that primarily travels in a ballistic (free-fall) trajectory.  The flight of a ballistic missile includes three phases: 1) boost phase, where the rocket generates thrust to launch the missile into flight; 2) midcourse phase, where the missile coasts in an arc under the influence of gravity; and 3) terminal phase, in which the missile descends towards its target.  Ballistic missiles can be characterized by three key parameters - range, payload, and Circular Error Probable (CEP), or targeting precision.  Ballistic missiles are primarily intended for use against ground targets.
Fuel Cycle
Fuel Cycle: A term for the full spectrum of processes associated with utilizing nuclear fission reactions for peaceful or military purposes. The “front-end” of the uranium-plutonium nuclear fuel cycle includes uranium mining and milling, conversion, enrichment, and fuel fabrication. The fuel is used in a nuclear reactor to produce neutrons that can, for example, produce thermal reactions to generate electricity or propulsion, or produce fissile materials for weapons. The “back-end” of the nuclear fuel cycle refers to spent fuel being stored in spent fuel pools, possible reprocessing of the spent fuel, and ultimately long-term storage in a geological or other repository.
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium: Uranium with an increased concentration of the isotope U-235, relative to natural uranium. Natural uranium contains 0.7 percent U-235, whereas nuclear weapons typically require uranium enriched to very high levels (see the definitions for “highly enriched uranium” and “weapons-grade”). Nuclear power plant fuel typically uses uranium enriched to 3 to 5 percent U-235, material that is not sufficiently enriched to be used for nuclear weapons.
Safeguards
Safeguards: A system of accounting, containment, surveillance, and inspections aimed at verifying that states are in compliance with their treaty obligations concerning the supply, manufacture, and use of civil nuclear materials. The term frequently refers to the safeguards systems maintained by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in all nuclear facilities in non-nuclear weapon state parties to the NPT. IAEA safeguards aim to detect the diversion of a significant quantity of nuclear material in a timely manner. However, the term can also refer to, for example, a bilateral agreement between a supplier state and an importer state on the use of a certain nuclear technology.

See entries for Full-scope safeguards, information-driven safeguards, Information Circular 66, and Information Circular 153.
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
The NPT: Signed in 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the most widely adhered-to international security agreement. The “three pillars” of the NPT are nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Article VI of the NPT commits states possessing nuclear weapons to negotiate in good faith toward halting the arms race and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The Treaty stipulates that non-nuclear-weapon states will not seek to acquire nuclear weapons, and will accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on their nuclear activities, while nuclear weapon states commit not to transfer nuclear weapons to other states. All states have a right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and should assist one another in its development. The NPT provides for conferences of member states to review treaty implementation at five-year intervals. Initially of a 25-year duration, the NPT was extended indefinitely in 1995. For additional information, see the NPT.
Bilateral
Bilateral: Negotiations, arrangements, agreements, or treaties that affect or are between two parties—and generally two countries.
Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC)
The ABACC: This bilateral safeguards agency was established under an agreement between Argentina and Brazil to verify the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy in each country. The agreement establishing the agency was signed in Guadalajara, Mexico, on July 18, 1991. For additional information, see ABACC.
Treaty of Tlatelolco
The Treaty of Tlatelolco: This treaty, opened for signature in February 1967, created a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Treaty of Tlatelolco was the first international agreement that aimed to exclude nuclear weapons from an inhabited region of the globe. The member states accept the application of International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all their nuclear activities. The treaty also establishes a regional organization, the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (OPANAL), to supervise treaty implementation and ensure compliance with its provisions. For additional information, see the LANWFZ.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
The CTBT: Opened for signature in 1996 at the UN General Assembly, the CTBT prohibits all nuclear testing if it enters into force. The treaty establishes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to ensure the implementation of its provisions and verify compliance through a global monitoring system upon entry into force. Pending the treaty’s entry into force, the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO is charged with establishing the International Monitoring System (IMS) and promoting treaty ratifications. CTBT entry into force is contingent on ratification by 44 Annex II states. For additional information, see the CTBT.
Additional Protocol
The Additional Protocol is a legal document granting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. The principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared activities. Under the Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites, as well as additional authority to use the most advanced technologies during the verification process. See entry for Information Circular 540.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
IAEA: Founded in 1957 and based in Vienna, Austria, the IAEA is an autonomous international organization in the United Nations system. The Agency’s mandate is the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, technical assistance in this area, and verification that nuclear materials and technology stay in peaceful use. Article III of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires non-nuclear weapon states party to the NPT to accept safeguards administered by the IAEA. The IAEA consists of three principal organs: the General Conference (of member states); the Board of Governors; and the Secretariat. For additional information, see the IAEA.
Nuclear-weapon states (NWS)
NWS: As defined by Article IX, paragraph 3 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the five states that detonated a nuclear device prior to 1 January 1967 (China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Coincidentally, these five states are also permanent members of the UN Security Council. States that acquired and/or tested nuclear weapons subsequently are not internationally recognized as nuclear-weapon states.
Disarmament
Though there is no agreed-upon legal definition of what disarmament entails within the context of international agreements, a general definition is the process of reducing the quantity and/or capabilities of military weapons and/or military forces.
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
The NSG was established in 1975, and its members commit themselves to exporting sensitive nuclear technologies only to countries that adhere to strict non-proliferation standards. For additional information, see the NSG.
Non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS)
Non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS): Under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), NNWS are states that had not detonated a nuclear device prior to 1 January 1967, and who agree in joining the NPT to refrain from pursuing nuclear weapons (that is, all state parties to the NPT other than the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China).
Nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant: A facility that generates electricity using a nuclear reactor as its heat source to provide steam to a turbine generator.
Uranium
Uranium is a metal with the atomic number 92. See entries for enriched uranium, low enriched uranium, and highly enriched uranium.
Low enriched uranium (LEU)
Low enriched uranium (LEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of the isotope U-235 that is higher than that found in natural uranium but lower than 20% LEU (usually 3 to 5%). LEU is used as fuel for many nuclear reactor designs.
Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.
Nonproliferation
Nonproliferation: Measures to prevent the spread of biological, chemical, and/or nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. See entry for Proliferation.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires each state party to declare and destroy all the chemical weapons (CW) and CW production facilities it possesses, or that are located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, as well as any CW it abandoned on the territory of another state. The CWC was opened for signature on 13 January 1993, and entered into force on 29 April 1997. For additional information, see the CWC.
Entry into force
The moment at which all provisions of a treaty are legally binding on its parties. Every treaty specifies preconditions for its entry into force. For example, the NPT specified that it would enter into force after the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union (the Depository governments) and 40 other countries ratified the treaty, an event that occurred on March 5, 1970. See entries for Signature, Ratification.
Ratification
Ratification: The implementation of the formal process established by a country to legally bind its government to a treaty, such as approval by a parliament. In the United States, treaty ratification requires approval by the president after he or she has received the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate. Following ratification, a country submits the requisite legal instrument to the treaty’s depository governments Procedures to ratify a treaty follow its signature.

See entries for Entry into force and Signature.
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
The OPCW: Based in The Hague, the Netherlands, the OPCW is responsible for implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). All countries ratifying the CWC become state parties to the CWC, and make up the membership of the OPCW. The OPCW meets annually, and in special sessions when necessary. For additional information, see the OPCW.
Biological weapon (BW)
Biological weapons use microorganisms and natural toxins to produce disease in humans, animals, or plants.  Biological weapons can be derived from: bacteria (anthrax, plague, tularemia); viruses (smallpox, viral hemorrhagic fevers); rickettsia (Q fever and epidemic typhus); biological toxins (botulinum toxin, staphylococcus enterotoxin B); and fungi (San Joaquin Valley fever, mycotoxins). These agents can be deployed as biological weapons when paired with a delivery system, such as a missile or aerosol device.
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
The BTWC: The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC) prohibits the development, production, or stockpiling of bacteriological and toxin weapons. Countries must destroy or divert to peaceful purposes all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment, and means of delivery within nine months after the entry into force of the convention. The BTWC was opened for signature on April 10, 1972, and entered into force on March 26, 1975. In 1994, the BTWC member states created the Ad Hoc Group to negotiate a legally binding BTWC Protocol that would help deter violations of the BTWC. The draft protocol outlines a monitoring regime that would require declarations of dual-use activities and facilities, routine visits to declared facilities, and short-notice challenge investigations. For additional information, see the BTWC.
Dual-use item
An item that has both civilian and military applications. For example, many of the precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of chemical weapons have legitimate civilian industrial uses, such as the production of pesticides or ink for ballpoint pens.
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)
The MTCR: An informal arrangement established in April 1987 by an association of supplier states concerned about the proliferation of missile equipment and technology relevant to missiles that are capable of carrying a payload over 500 kilograms over a 300-kilometer range. Though originally intended to restrict the proliferation of nuclear-capable missiles, the regime has been expanded to restrict the spread of unmanned aerial vehicles. For additional information, see the MTCR.
Dismantlement
Dismantlement: Taking apart a weapon, facility, or other item so that it is no longer functional.

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