Brazil Flag for Brazil

Country Spotlight

Although it once engaged in nuclear competition with Argentina, Brazil renounced its interest in nuclear weapons and curtailed ballistic missile development after the ouster of its military government in the 1990s. The country currently operates an extensive civil nuclear program and is constructing a nuclear-powered submarine. It has never developed chemical or biological weapons.

See Brazil's performance in

Region   South America, Central America, and the Caribbean

1967 Signed Treaty of Tlatelolco, joining the Latin America Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone

1991 Agreed to binational nuclear safeguards with Argentina

1 Nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) under development


  • Nuclear weapons program ended 1990; never developed weapon
  • Two nuclear power reactors and advanced fuel cycle capabilities
  • Developing conventionally-armed nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN), negotiating with IAEA on safeguards regarding nuclear submarine fuel


  • 1991 Mendoza Agreement with Argentina prohibits all biological weapons activities
  • Possesses large quantities of castor bean (a natural source of ricin) and knowledge of dual-use biotechnology techniques
  • Large, rapidly growing biotechnology sector


  • Abandoned indigenous ballistic missile program in the 1990s
  • SSN will be capable of deploying cruise missiles
  • Developing anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles


  • No evidence of developing or producing chemical weapons
  • Charter member of the OPCW
  • 1991 Mendoza Agreement with Argentina prohibits all chemical weapons activities

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

See all Treaties & Regimes


The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Learn More


ABACC is a binational safeguards agency created by Argentina and Brazil in 1991 to ensure that the two countries are using nuclear materials strictly for peaceful purposes.

Learn More

Tlatelolco Treaty

The Tlatelolco Treaty prohibits Latin American states from acquiring, possessing, developing, testing or using nuclear weapons, and prohibits other countries from storing and deploying nuclear weapons on their territories.

Learn More

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosion tests on Earth. It needs eight key countries to ratify before entry into force.

Learn More



More Analysis

Education Center

Extensive resources on nuclear policy, biological threats, radiological security, cyber threats and more.

Explore the Center


My Resources