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 1990’s. The country currently operates an extensive civil nuclear program and is constructing a nuclear-powered submarine. It has never developed chemical or biological weapons.

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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 attack submarine (SSN) under development


  • NEWS: Began negotiations with the IAEA in June 2022 on safeguards and procedures regarding use of nuclear fuel in its submarine program
  • Nuclear weapons program ended 1990; never developed weapon
  • Two nuclear power reactors and advanced fuel cycle capabilities
  • Currently developing nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN)


  • 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 capable of deploying cruise and anti-ship missiles
  • Possesses and developing anti-ship cruise missiles and air defense 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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