From the 1970s to 1990s, Brazil’s nuclear energy and missile programs raised several concerns with the international community. Brazil refused to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) until 1997, and its nuclear program was initially based on an unsafeguarded uranium enrichment facility. In 1975, the Brazilian military launched a covert nuclear weapons program called the “Parallel Program,” which produced two nuclear weapons. The Parallel Program was exposed to the public in 1988 and shut down in 1990. It was later revealed that Brazil secretly sold eight tons of uranium to Iraq in 1981.
The easing of the Argentine-Brazilian nuclear rivalry in the 1980s and 1990s allowed for greater transparency regarding the Brazilian nuclear program. The Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) of 1990 and other bilateral agreements established a safeguards system to verify the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in both countries.
In spring 2004, Brazil faced criticism over its conduct with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) when it didn’t allow for full IAEA access to its uranium enrichment facility. The IAEA had raised the concern that Brazil may have acquired nuclear materials through the A. Q. Khan network. Moreover, the Brazilian government announced a plan to expand its enrichment activities for domestic use and sale to other countries. At the same time, Brazil maintained that its nuclear program only serves peaceful purposes. The dispute was resolved in November 2004 when Brazil allowed for unhindered IAEA inspections of its uranium enrichment site.
- Argentine-Brazilian Declaration of Common Nuclear Policy, December 1990
- Agreement between the Republic of Argentina and the Federative Republic of Brazil for the Exclusively Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy, July 1991
- 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 (Quadripartite Agreement), 13 December 1991
- Declaration by the Presidents of the Republic of Argentina and the Federative Republic of Brazil on the 25th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, 14 February 1992
- Agreement Between the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), 18 April 1994
- Cooperation Agreement Between the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), 2 October 1999
- 2000 NPT Review Conference Opening Statement, 25 April 2000
- 2000 NPT Review Conference Opening Statement by Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), 27 April 2000
- The Nuclear-Weapon Free Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas, Statement by Ambassador Gelson Fonseca Jr., Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, 23 October 2001
- Nuclear-Weapon Free Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas, Statement by Ambassador Celina Assumpção do Valle Pereira, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, 14 October 2002
- “What does not exist cannot proliferate,” International Herald Tribune, signed by Foreign Ministers Celso Amorim of Brazil; Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit of Egypt; Brian Cowen of Ireland; Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista of Mexico; Phil Goff of New Zealand; Nkosazana Dlimini-Zuma of South Africa; and Laila Freivalds of Sweden, 2 May 2005
- 2005 NPT Review Conference Opening Statement, 4 May 2005