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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 29, 1967


This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

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    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.
    "Letter, Director of the Argentinian National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) to the Foreign Minister on Nuclear Cooperation with Brazil," December 29, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry (Brasilia). Obtained and translated by Fundação Getúlio Vargas.
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Buenos Aires, December 29, 1967

Mr. Minister:

On the occasion of the recent inauguration of the Ezeiza Atomic Center, the President of the National Nuclear Energy Commission of Brazil, Professor D. URIEL DA COSTA RIBEIRO traveled to our country to participate in the event, accompanied by the following Brazilian officials: Professor HERVASIO GUIMARAES DE CARVALHO, member of the Executive Committee of that body; engineer HELCIO MODESTO DA COSTA, member of the same Commission, Professor ROMULO RIBEIRO PIERONI, Director of Institute of Atomic Energy in Sao Paulo, Professor Milton Campos, director of the Radiation Research Institute of Minas Gerais, engineer SERGIO GORRETA MUNDIM, from the Nuclear Engineering Institute of Guanabara; engineer JULIO JANSEN LABORNE, from the Planning and Development sector, and engineer AUGUSTO LOPES DE AMORIN HERNANI, of the Administration of Monazite Production.

The reason for such a large and qualified delegation, aside from their participation in the inauguration of the Ezeiza Atomic Center, can be traced to other circumstances: to facilitate a direct exchange of ideas between Brazilian and Argentine technicians looking forward to enabling a concrete and effective basis for a better understanding as well as establishing broader contact and cooperation between the two countries in the field of nuclear energy.

The results of the visit, which lasted from the 18th until the 23rd of December, may be summarized as follows:

a. There is a positive change regarding the Brazilian Atomic Energy Commission's attitude in regard to its relationship and information exchange with Argentina.

b. This new approach is evident not only through formalisms, but also in a broader and dedicated spirit of cooperation looking to solve scientific and technological problems of common interest.

c. [We] consider that Brazil currently has a more organic and coordinated nuclear program, which promotes an effective exchange [between both countries].

d. In a first and exploratory approach, it is easy to define a sufficiently large number of specific issues where collaboration would be particularly interesting for both countries. Among these problems [we can identify areas such as] ultracentrifugation, nuclear raw materials, fuel elements, etc.., and the possibility of presenting a common front in international organizations in order to obtain specific technical assistance programs in regional projects.

According to the National [Nuclear] Commission, such reasons establish the opportunity of signing an agreement with Brazil – an agreement [that] could be structured within the following guidelines:

An agreement between states, to establish the suitability of a supplementary agreement directly between agencies on "specific areas" of activities conveniently defined, based on a mutual understanding and an active exchange of information. Only then can [we] fully appreciate the needs and possibilities of each party as a starting point in order to seal a fruitful cooperation.

In this sense, the first part of the agreement will serve the purpose of formalizing intentions, and the second part will ensure practical and positive results.

It is estimated that this approach would:

1. Institutionalize and shape a favorable situation, indicating that all conditions are set to successfully initiate an effective relationship [in the nuclear field].

2. Obtain a minimum amount of time (approximately four months) to allow us, through direct knowledge between technicians of their respective agencies, to establish precisely the "specific areas" of cooperation and how to achieve effective action.

In this way, and as current enforcement action, Brazilian experts made ​​a recent visit to the [our] National Commission, and have scheduled a tour of our technicians in Brazil, led by the signatory of this letter, [to take place] in the month of March, before the trip to Vienna to serve as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

We understand that this way we could define adequately the areas and specific purposes of [an] immediate exchange, and [also] formalize the effective side of the agreement.

Having submitted this report for the consideration of His Excellency, I request the necessary instructions enabling this National [Nuclear] Commission to adopt the necessary measures.

I greet you with my highest esteem and consideration,  

Oscar A. Quihillalt

President of the CNEA

José Luis Alegría

Chief of the CNEA


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