Brazil Argentina Nuclear Agreement

The new inspection regime for nuclear fuel plants in Argentina and Brazil entered into force on 31 July 2008. The short-term spot inspection regime has been implemented in the Fábrica de Elementos Combustibles of Combustibles Nucleares Argentinos S.A. and in the Fábrica de Combustível Nuclear-Reconversão e Pastilhas/Componentes e Montagem des Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB). The Brazilian and Argentine Agency for the Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) was established under the Agreement between Argentina and Brazil on the Exclusively Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy and was signed in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 18 July 1991. ABACC is responsible for the management and enforcement of the Common Financial Reporting and Control System (CSPC), which is a comprehensive guarantee system applied to all nuclear activities covering all nuclear material in both countries. Military conflicts have been avoided in recent years, but competition for military weapons systems — aircraft, missiles, naval forces — has continued until recently. In this context, the development of unmonitored indigenous nuclear programs with significant military potential could have reinforced the traditional rivalry between the two countries. It could have led to a direct conflict. This was not the case and, in the end, potential nuclear competition was transformed into rapprochement and cooperation. In fact, I would say that their nuclear programs have been cleverly used by civilian leaders to advance rapprochement in the political and economic fields. The global trend towards higher standards for nuclear safety oversight means that sooner or later Brazil and Argentina may feel compelled to reconsider their positions on the Additional Protocol. Let me come to Brazil.

Unlike Argentina, Brazil`s nuclear efforts have been divided into a civilian program under IAEA security measures and, in the past, a semi-secret indigenous parallel program dominated by the military. The civilian program, based on light water technology, includes a 624 MW power reactor supplied by the United States near Rio de Janeiro. It was called “Lightning Bug” by brazilians, with their characteristic humor, because it constantly sparkles. A second block, a 1300 MW block supplied by Germany, is expected to enter into force in 1999. A third unit is pending. The German units are the result of a 1975 agreement between Germany and Brazil, which should have prescribed the transfer of reprocessing and enrichment techniques. This agreement raised serious concerns at the international level, although there was ultimately little transfer of sensitive German technology to Brazil`s civilian nuclear program. After the IAEA Director General reported in 2013 to IAEA Member States on The Conceptualization and Development of Safeguards Implementation at the State Level (GOV/2013/38)) (.