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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 13, 1974

MEMORANDUM, INFORMATION FOR THE PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL, NO. 055/74 FROM THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Outline of the government of Brazil’s decision to acquire all phases of the cycle of production of nuclear fuel through cooperation with a foreign government, in this case the Federal Republic of Germany. Reference is made to the need to develop uranium enrichment technology in accordance with the 1967 nuclear policy, which had not yet been implemented.
    "Memorandum, Information for the President of Brazil, No. 055/74 from the National Security Council," August 13, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil (CPDOC), Azeredo da Silveira Archive, AAS1974.o8.15 mre/pn [1/661]. Obtained and translated by Fundação Getúlio Vargas. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116915
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Aviso no. 274/74

                                                                                Brasília, DF - August 13 1974

Mr. Minister,

I have the honor to address Your Excellency regarding Information  nº  0181-SECRET, dated July 29 1974, from this Ministry.

That document dealt with the cooperation between Brazil and the Federal Republic of Germany in the industrial field of activities linked to the use of nuclear energy and was at the origin of Exposição de Motivos no. 55/74, dated August 13 1974, from this General Secretariat, on which the President of the Republic took the following decision:

                                             “Approved” – August 13 1974

In compliance with presidential orders, I convey to Your Excellency a copy of the above mentioned Exposição de Motivos.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of high esteem and consideration.

(Signed) General Hugo de Andrade Abreu  

                  General Secretary of the National Security Council          

[Attachment]

Exposição de Motivos no. 055/74                                Brasília, DF - August 13 1974                                                 

                                

                          To  His Excellency the President of the Republic

I have the honor to address Your Excellency with respect to Information no. 0181-SECRET, dated July 1974, from the Ministry of External Relations, on cooperation in the industrial field of activities linked to the use of nuclear energy, between Brazil and the Federal Republic of Germany.

With regard to this matter, this General Secretariat found out that:

The Guidelines for the National Nuclear Energy Policy, approved in 1967 and still in force, envisage as permanent objectives, among others:

                 “To stimulate and expand the industrial infrastructure with a view to its more intensive participation in the programs of reactor construction and manufacture of the necessary equipment and instruments.”

                 “To accelerate technical and scientific exchange with other countries, in the field of nuclear energy, especially with more developed countries.”

In 1969, Brazil and the Federal Republic of Germany signed a General Agreement on cooperation in the sectors of scientific research and technological development. Based on this instrument, sectoral agreements were signed, with a view to cooperation in the sector of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, namely: An Agreement on Geological and Geophysical Research in the States of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo (1970). A Special Convention between the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN) and the Jülich Nuclear Research Center on scientific and technological cooperation (1971). A Special Convention on cooperation in the fields of Research and Technological Development between the National Research Council and the Jülich Nuclear Research Center (1971).   By Exposição de Motivos no. 245/74, dated April 23 1974, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, following a general appraisal of the situation and the prospects for uranium enrichment in the world and in the country, requested presidential permission for the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN) to promote understandings with countries in a position to join Brazil in a joint endeavor with the aim of installing, on Brazilian soil, a plant to obtain enriched uranium. The examination of the proposal presented by the Ministry of Mines and Energy resulted in Exposição de Motivos no. 030, dated May 6 1974, from this General Secretariat, approved by His Excellency the President of the Republic, from which the following conclusions can be extracted:

        “Uranium enrichment constitutes an extremely  important stage in the nuclear fuel cycle, a subject of high significance for the interests of national security”.

 “The line of action proposed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, regarding the instalation, in the country, of a uranium enrichment plant, corresponds indirectly to the type of power reactors to be basically and with priority adopted by Brazil. Such a line of action is compatible with previous decisions by the Government and does not conflict with the National Nuclear Energy Policy”.

“By means of the Information mentioned as the origin, the Ministry of External Relations conveys to His Excellency the President of the Republic the result of preliminary negotiations and considers that there are promising possibilities of cooperation in the nuclear field that would allow its extension from the scientific and research field, already under development, to the industrial field.

After studying the matter, this General Secretariat came to the following conclusions:

Negotiations under way between Brazil and the Federal Republic of Germany stem from prior presidential decision allowing understandings aiming at achieving, with the cooperation of countries possessing more advanced technology, the speeding up of Brazilian projects in the nuclear sector.The results of demarches with the German representatives are of the highest importance. If the bi-national collaboration comes to encompass all items listed and the cooperation program is implemented in the proposed way, Brazil will attain, in a relatively short delay, a highly satisfactory solution for the problem of the use of nuclear energy.The implementation of the cooperation, according to the agreed terms, appears as an initiative of extreme importance for the interests of National Security.

In submitting the matter to the high consideration of Your Excellency, this General Secretariat suggests that, in case the above suggestions are approved, they be conveyed to the Ministries of External Relations and of Mines and Energy.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my deepest respect.

(Signed) General Hugo de Andrade Abreu

General Secretary of the National Security Council.