Origins of Brazil-Argentina Nuclear Cooperation
This selection of key documents show the origins of nuclear cooperation between Argentina and Brazil from the 1960s onwards. Together, these two countries averted a cycle of competition in the nuclear field that could have had serious geopolitical implications. See also Brazilian Nuclear History and the Origins of Nuclear Cooperation Critical Oral History Conference.
December 05, 1967
Letter from the Director of Brazilian National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN) Uriel da Costa Ribeiro to the Director of the Argentinian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) Oscar A. Quihillalt
Ribeiro conveys the Brazilian interest in establishing a nuclear cooperation agreement with Argentina, expressed during the visit of the Brazilian mission to the inauguration of Ezeiza Atomic facility in Buenos Aires in 1967.
December 29, 1967
Letter, Director of the Argentinian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) to the Foreign Minister on Nuclear Cooperation with Brazil
The Director of the Argentinian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) writes to the Foreign Minister on a visit by a group of Brazilian officials and the details of a possible agreement for nuclear cooperation between the two countries.
Draft Argentinian-Brazilian Agreement in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
Draft of a nuclear cooperation agreement between Argentina and Brazil, very likely the same one given by Brazilian authorities to the Argentinian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) mission during the latter’s visit to Brazil in March 1968.
September 04, 1968
Aide Mémoire, 'Sale of 5 Tons of Uranium to Brazil'
A Brazilian diplomat to Argentina expresses an interest in acquiring five tons of uranium free from safeguards to Argentine authorities. CNEA and the foreign ministry of Argentina approved the request, taking into consideration the favorable diplomatic relations between the two countries at the moment.
December 20, 1968
National Atomic Energy Commission Report to the Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Brazil’s Request for Uranium
This document reports on CNEA’s position on the exports of uranium to Brazil and reports that the operation will not produce any economic benefit. Nevertheless, it is favorable to the export as a token of Argentina’s good will in regard to nuclear cooperation with Brazil.
December 15, 1969
Letter from the Director of the National Atomic Energy Commission Oscar A. Quihillalt to Argentine Foreign Minister Juan B. Martin
Quihillalt suggests to the new Argentine foreign minister, Juan B. Martin, the formalization of the nuclear relationship with Brazil through the signature of a memorandum of understanding.
February 16, 1972
Note from the Director of Argentinian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) on a Possible Agreement with Brazil
The director of CNEA, the Argentine National Atomic Energy Commission, summaries past unsuccessful attempts to organize an agreement with Brazil for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy research.
July 01, 1974
Telegram, Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires, 'Visit of an Embassy Employee to the Nuclear Center [at] Atucha'
Report from the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires about the visit of Brazil’s Superior War College to the Atucha nuclear plant. There its director, Jorge Cosentino, explained the Argentine nuclear program in detail and expressed interest in finding formulas for cooperation with Brazil in the nuclear field.
September 08, 1974
Explanatory Memorandum from the National Security Council to the President of Brazil
Secretary-General of the National Security Council send the president of Brazil a report on attempts to establishing nuclear cooperation with Argentina in the period 1968-1974. In July 1974, on the occasion of the visit of a delegation from the Superior War College to the Argentine Atucha nuclear plant, its director, engineer Cosentino, proposed a cooperation agreement between the two countries with the objective of defusing concerns of the international community about a possible Brazil-Argentina rivalry. Despite the cautious reception of the Argentine proposal by the National Security Council, which also pointed out its possible advantages, President Geisel, in a manuscript note, said that there were several pending issues to be resolved before the establishment of nuclear cooperation between Brasília and Buenos Aires would become possible.
September 11, 1974
Letter, Secretary-General of the National Security Council to the President of Brazil, on Nuclear Cooperation with Argentina
Cover letter from an explanatory memorandum on a possible agreement of mutual cooperation in nuclear energy between Brazil and Argentina. Contains President Geisel's response to the opinion of the National Security Council about nuclear cooperation between Argentina and Brazil. It concludes that the solution of pending issues with Buenos Aires should come before advancing in the nuclear field.
November 24, 1976
Notes from President of Nuclebrás Paulo Nogueira Batista to the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations
Meeting among the members of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Ministry of Energy, the National Commission of Atomic Energy and the Council of National Security on a nuclear cooperation agreement proposed by CNEA. The objective of the agreement was to steer away doubts about a hypothetical nuclear competition between Brazil and Argentina, after Jimmy Carter was elected president in the US. Most participants of the meeting were contrary to a nuclear cooperation with Buenos Aires.
Brazil Scope Paper: Implications of the Argentine Visit
Cyrus Vance - apparently unintentionally - left behind this document while meeting with Brazilian President Geisel. It lays out US negotiations with Argentina to ratify the Treaty of Tlateloco, to accept full scope safeguards and to delay the construction of a reprocessing facility in exchange for US nuclear assistance and Brazil’s acceptance of a moratorium on the construction of a reprocessing facility.
March 22, 1977
Letter to Hugo Abreu on a Conversation between Vice-Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Admiral José Calvente Aranda and the Argentine Ambassador Oscar Camilión
Abreu reports a conversation in which ambassador Camillión revealed President Videla’s desire to visit Brazil, implying that Itaipu was a sensitive issue, but of domestic nature. The Argentine government suggested a joint declaration on nuclear issues to turn away international suspicions on "the production of the bomb."
September 07, 1977
Report, Brazil, 'Official Mission to Washington, DC, While Representing Brazil at the Treaty Signing Ceremonies on the New Agreements Over the Panama Canal'
Vice-President Adalberto Pereira reports on a meeting with Republican Congressman Paul Findley, who proposed, on a personal basis, the creation of a nuclear mutual surveillance system between Brazil and Argentina, with a view to allaying doubts about a possible arms race. Findley had already presented the proposal to Ambassador Geraldo Holanda Cavalcanti, (aide to Minister Silveira) on the occasion of the visit to Brasília on August 23 1977. According to the agreement he proposed, Brazil and Argentina would renounce the intention to develop a nuclear device and would accept mutual inspections of their respective nuclear facilities.
November 30, 1977
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information to the President, 'Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's Visit'
According to a US document left behind by Cyrus Vance, Argentina had agreed to ratify the Treaty of Tlateloco, to accept full scope safeguards and to delay the construction of a reprocessing facility in exchange for US nuclear assistance and Brazil’s acceptance of a moratorium on the construction of a reprocessing facility. Commenting the paper, Foreign Minister Silveira defines US strategy as “irresponsible” and considers it as an encouragement to the rivalry and confrontation between Argentina and Brazil.
April 05, 1978
Telegram from the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires to the Foreign Ministry, 'External Policy. Argentina. Nuclear non-proliferation. Issue no. 132.'
This telegram made by the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires, verifies U.S. pressure on Argentina’s nuclear program, especially through Canada, with whom Argentina had a strategic partnership in the nuclear field. The telegram goes into depth on factors that underlie Argentina's decision not to sign the NPT, and its efforts to import the materials necessary for its nuclear program.
August 20, 1979
Memorandum DEM/89, Luiz Augosto de Castro Neves, Deputy Chief of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, 'Brazil-Argentina. Possibilities for Nuclear Cooperation'
Conversations between Counselor Raul Estrada Oyuela, from the Argentine Embassy in Brasilia, and Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves, Deputy Chief of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of Itamaraty, on the possibility of nuclear cooperation between Brazil and Argentina.