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Arms Control: Brazil
#1
Brazil’s Nuclear Program: Perceptions and Realities http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1...realities/ by Joshua Pollack. [note 15 November discussion below].

"The peer-reviewed journal that I edit, the Nonproliferation Review, recently featured a hefty special section on Brazil’s nuclear program, written primarily by Brazilian scholars and former officials. Why is this subject important, you might ask, since Brazil has no nuclear weapons? Notwithstanding the bragging of disgraced nuclear executive Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva – the retired admiral who once headed Brazil’s gas-centrifuge program – there’s no indication that Brazil is particularly close to, much less interested in, nuclear weapons.

Brazil is nevertheless a major complicating factor within the nonproliferation regime, famous (or infamous) for its blurring of the lines between peaceful use and military applications of nuclear power – lines that were, globally speaking, never sufficiently bright and clear to begin with. The Brazilian Navy’s decision to carry out an (initially unpublicized) uranium enrichment program with a view to building nuclear-powered submarines was certainly an eyebrow-raiser. So were the mysterious shafts dug by the Air Force.

But that’s not all. Brazil and Argentina both waited until after the end of the Cold War to join the nonproliferation regime. Instead of simply adopting comprehensive safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency like other states with nuclear technology, they established a bilateral agency, called ABACC, and concluded a “quadripartite agreement” with the IAEA. Brazil is especially vocal in resisting the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, thereby erecting a barrier to its universalization. Both countries have sought to have ABACC treated as equivalent to the AP.

It follows that any efforts to strengthen the global nonproliferation regime must contend with Brazilian perspectives. So what’s going on here? A military hedge for a country without obvious enemies? Making a statement about national sovereignty? A desire for a louder voice in international debates? A perceived economic advantage from nuclear technology, or an interest in one of the premier symbols of modernity? All this and more is discussed in the NPR special section.

This Wednesday morning, November 15, at the Middlebury offices in Washington DC, we’ll be holding a brief talk with two of our authors: Togzhan Kassenova of the Carnegie Endowment, and Matias Spektor from the Fundação Getulio Vargas. Togzhan will discuss her article,” External perceptions of Brazil’s nuclear policy: views from Argentina and the United States“; Matias will discuss his article, “The evolution of Brazil’s nuclear intentions.” 
It’s not too late to RSVP, so sign up and come join us!"
Pia
Jitsi chat: enfo.pia@gmail.com
 
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