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.
November 08, 1985
Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations, 'Information for the Meeting on Nuclear Issues with Argentine Authorities'
Information for a meeting between José Sarney and Raul Alfonsín and as a guide to the joint declaration on the peaceful character of nuclear programs and for the creation of a working group to promote cooperation between the two countries. Itamaraty recognized Argentina’s achievements in the nuclear realm. The last two paragraphs suggests the rejection of a possible Argentine proposal to create a system of mutual inspections.
Memorandum to Holders of Special National Intelligence Estimate, SNIE 93-83, 'Brazil’s Changing Nuclear Goals: Motives and Constraints'
The SNIEs from 1983 and the 1985 update emphasize Brazil’s quest for technological-industrial autonomy which in nuclear terms meant developing an indigenous program to master the fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities. In seeking those objectives, Brazil did not want to face any constraints, and its leaders were unresponsive to US or other pressures for safeguards on nuclear facilities. According to the 1985 report the prominent role of the military in nuclear activities, “the direction of Brazil’s nuclear r&d,” and the CNEN president’s “reputation of favoring a nuclear option” posed a “danger to US interests in Brazil.”
September 08, 1986
Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, 'President Sarney and Brazil’s Nuclear Policy'
A Directorate of Intelligence analysis, prepared in 1986, provides an interesting contrast with excisions in the NIEs on the indigenous program; it includes details on the major Navy, Air Force, and Army components of the indigenous program, including the nuclear submarine objective. As with the NIEs, the authors of this report saw no “political decision” on nuclear weapons and further noted President Sarney’s public statements against a weapons program. But a piece of political intelligence initially excised from this report suggested, rightly or wrongly, that Sarney may have been personally ambivalent.
September 04, 1987
Cable on Ambassador Rubens Ricupero’s Meetings with President Alfonsín and Ambassador Jorge Sabato about Nuclear Cooperation
This cable summarizes Ambassador Ricupero’s mission to Argentina, where he conveyed a report that Brazil had mastered uranium enrichment. President Alfonsín’s letter of reply is included.