August 30, 1956
Minutes of the Twentieth Session of the Brazilian National Security Council, Second Brazilian Nuclear Plan
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
His Excellency General Nelson de Mello was the Secretary of theTwentieth Session of the National Security Council
Minutes of the twentieth Session of the National Security Council
On 30 August 156, at 7 PM, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, at Catete Palace, the twentieth Session of the National Security Council was held under the presidency of His Excellency the President of the Republic, Dr. Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, with the presence of the Ministers of State: Dr. Nereu Ramos, of Justice; Antonio Alves Câmara, of the Navy; Henrique Duffles Teixeira Lott, of War; José Maria Alkmin, of Finance; General Ernesto Dornelles, of Agriculture; Lúcio Martins Meira, of Transports and Public Works; José Parsifal Barroso, of Labor, Industry and Commerce; Clovis Salgado Gama, of Education, Henrique Fleuiss, of Aeronautics; Maurício Campos de Medeiros, of Health; General Octavio Saldanha Mazza, of the Army of Staff; General Anor Teixeira dos Santos, of the Armed Forces Staff; Admiral Renato de Almeida Guillobel, of the Navy Staff; and General Ajalmar Vieira Mascarenhas, of the Air Force Staff. Also present at the meeting were General Nelson de Mello, Secretary-General of the National Security Council; Colonel Antonio Accioly Borges, Chief of Staff of the General Secretariat of the National Security Council; Navy and Army Officers attached to the Staff of the General Secretariat of the National Security Council, acting as advisers to the Studies Commission for Nuclear Policy, respectively Commander Julio Cesar de Sá Carvalho and Artillery Major Carlos Molinari Cairoli. The President of the Republic opens the Session stating that it was the first time he convened the National Security Council since becoming President and he was very glad to establish new contact with the agency to which the highest responsibilities in the life of the country are entrusted. His Excellency adds that the meeting had been convened for the purpose of establishing norms and political bases which the Government must adopt in the field of atomic energy. Next he adds that the convening of the National Security Council aims at evaluating the work of the Studies Commission appointed last April to formulate the Atomic Energy Policy in the form of recommendations; that the appointment of the Studies Commission intended to reach two objectives: in the political sphere: a) to counterbalance the current campaign in the Congress and the press against the present Government to the detriment of its popular and military bases, by means of alleged faults in the nuclear energy policy; b) to look for adequate guidance and set with honesty and patriotism the nuclear energy policy for which the present Government will be responsible, through the National Security Council, a prestigious, unsuspected and authoritative organ able to point out the best solution for such an important problem; that the presidential guidelines to the Studies Commission put forth three basic questions for examination: 1) the creation of the Nuclear Energy Commission; 2) a policy for our atomic minerals and; 3) the convenience of updating existing nuclear agreements; that the study presented by the Studies Commission fully solved these specific problems and set general positive norms for a nuclear energy policy. Continuing his remarks, His Excellency adds that everyone knew that the Government had decided to appoint a Commission to elaborate, in the form of recommendations, the nuclear policy to be followed from now on, since this question galvanized public opinion, provoking debate at the National Congress. The policy followed until now in the field of nuclear energy was the result of agreements and conventions that are the target of criticism that could reach the present government. For this reason, the President of the Republic goes on, we wanted to clarify the issue by adopting a protective policy with norms to be observed in the future. Next, His Excellency designates the Secretary-General of the National Security Council, General Nelson de Mello, to proceed with the reading of the documents for examination by the members of the Council present. (The Secretary-General proceeded with the reading of the documents: “SECRET Ofício dated April 24 1956 From the President of the Republic to the Secretary-General of the National Security Council. SUBJECT: Nuclear energy policy. In order to seek objectivity in its basic plan regarding energy sources, the Government intends to formalize its guidelines in the field of nuclear energy by means of a policy geared to the defense of the highest national interests. In the present conjuncture, the definition of the patriotic intentions of the Government will be further proof of its desire to follow the policy it has imposed on itself to fight for the development of the country. 2. In order to set a policy that encompasses the fundamental issues of the nuclear energy question, I wish to count upon the patriotic and competent opinion of the National Security Council. 3. With this objective in mind, I decided to name a Studies Commission, composed of the Ministers of State of External Affairs, War, Navy, Air Force and Agriculture, the Head of the Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of the National Development Council and the President of the National Research Council to elaborate, under the chairmanship of the first one named, in the form of recommendations, the Nuclear Energy Policy. These recommendations shall be submitted to the Security Council, at an ulterior meeting, so that it may pronounce itself on the best policy to be followed by the Government in this field. 4. You are from this moment on authorized to proceed, through the General Secretariat, to the gathering of the data necessary for the work of the Commission, as well as to co-ordinate the agencies and advising officials deemed convenient for that objective. (Signed) Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira – President of the Republic”. “SECRET Ofício dated April 24 1956. From the President of the Republic to the President of the Studies Commission on Nuclear Energy Policy, of the National Security Council. SUBJECT: Basic guidelines. Reference: Ofício dated April 27 1956, from the Office of the President of the Republic to the General Secretary of the National Security Council. According to my thinking, explained in the Ofício of reference to the Secretary-General of the National Security Council, it would be convenient for the definition of the nuclear energy policy that the following basic points be examined, besides other aspects deemed necessary by the Commission: a) creation of an autonomous agency for the guidance of all activities in the field of nuclear energy; b) the policy to be followed in the field of nuclear energy, particularly regarding atomic minerals and their export. The interest in adopting an exclusive barter system from Government to Government, aiming at the immediate acquisition of industrial reactors and technical information that result in the use of nuclear energy in the country, should also be studied; c) examination of the convenience to update international agreements, for the benefit of a more realistic policy in accordance with the new possibilities offered by the advancement of science in the applications of nuclear energy. 2. The conclusions that the Government may come to recommend shall be examined so that the National Security Council may give its opinion and permit the Government to initiate more dynamic action in the field of atomic energy, with the aim of overcoming the relative backwardness we are already in, promoting development of our resources in accordance with the high interests of the nation. I avail myself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of my respectful regard. (Signed) Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira – President of the Republic”. CONFIDENTIAL Ofício. Mr. President, By an act of April 24 last, you have decided to request a Studies Commission, composed of the Ministers of State of the Navy, War, Air Force and Agriculture, the Head of the Army Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary-General of the Economic Development Council and the President of the National Research Council, under the Chairmanship of the Minister of External Relations, to elaborate, in the form of recommendations, the Nuclear Energy Policy to be submitted to the National Security Council. 2. At the same date you have set in a secret document addressed to the President of this Commission the basic guidelines which should direct its work, stressing three aspects which should be considered, namely, the creation of a Nuclear Energy Commission as an autonomous agency, the policy to be followed with regard to the atomic minerals and the examination of the convenience to update the existing international agreements. 3. The Commission held five plenary meetings at Itamaraty Palace. The studies carried out on the basis of official documentation provided by the competent agencies permitted to derive from the debates held at the sessions the recommendations that set the main points for a Nuclear Energy Policy which is contained in the annexed document and is composed of three parts. In the first, the basic proposals that make up in their ensemble a definition of the Nuclear Energy Policy are reproduced; in the second, the recommendations are complemented and the essential aspects that should guide their implementation are set; finally, the third part is a brief analysis of the main points of the proposed doctrine. 4. As you will see, the proposed recommendations fully contemplate the basic points contained in the presidential guidelines. The Studies Commission deemed indispensable the creation of the National Nuclear Energy Commission, for the non-existence of such an agency has greatly hindered the responsible definition of the guidelines followed until now. The remaining recommendations, taken in their entirety, set the limits for our exports of atomic minerals and our position vis-à-vis the international agreements. Other aspects of the question of the use of nuclear energy were also examined and make up complementary proposals. It is highly convenient to highlight, Mr. President, that these recommendations were unanimously adopted and constitute, in the opinion of the members of the Commission, the best instrument to achieve the real interests of the country in the present stage of its development. 5. The official documents of the work of the Commission, including the minutes of the Sessions, were sent to the Secretary-General of the National Security Council, to be kept in the records of the General Secretariat of that organ. 6. This Studies Commission, in discharging the honorable and important mission entrusted to it by Your Excellency, wishes to state that its action was guided exclusively by the desire to serve Brazil well, seeking to point the best way for the establishment of a nuclear policy that answers to the best interests of the country, in the present as in the future. I avail myself of this opportunity to renew the assurance of my deepest respect. (Signed) José Carlos de Macedo Soares – President of the Studies Commission for the Nuclear Policy.”REPORT of the Studies Commission for the Nuclear Policy – SECRET. I - The Studies Commission appointed by Your Excellency to elaborate, in the form of recommendations, the National Nuclear Energy Policy to be submitted to the examination of the National Security Council, performed its task on the basis of the presidential guidelines set for this end and arrived at the following set of proposals: 1. To create the National Nuclear Energy Commission as an agency directly under the President of the Republic charged with the nuclear energy sector and shaping its actions according to the governmental guidelines for the National Nuclear Energy Policy. 2. To create the National Nuclear Energy Fund, to be used exclusively in the development of the utilization of nuclear energy. 3. To formulate a wide and intensive program of preparation of scientists, technicians and specialists in the several sectors related to nuclear energy. 4. To establish a program to urgently ascertain our availability in minerals of interest to the production of nuclear energy – quantity, quality, economic value and possibilities of industrial exploitation. 5. To support the national industry of treatment of minerals of interest to the production of nuclear energy and to enlarge it, especially to encompass also uranium ore; To promote its progress so that it reaches a higher stage, that is, the production of nuclear pure metals. To make the establishment of a national program of utilization of nuclear energy a condition for such progress. 6. To exert Government control over the trade – purchase, stockpiling and sale, including exports – of materials usable in the field of nuclear energy. 7. To establish as a fundamental tenet of the National Nuclear Energy Policy to be adopted the production in the country, as soon as possible, of nuclear fuels from nuclear pure materials, under total control and ownership of the Government. 8. To suspend the production of uranium and thorium, its components and ores and of other materials designated by the National Nuclear Energy Commission to be created, until further decision by the National Security Council. 9. Only after obtaining credible data about the existence, in our country, of substantial deposits of minerals usable in the field of nuclear energy and once convenient stockpiling of treated materials is assured, for our program in this sector, the Government may trade abroad certain quantities of these materials, with the highest degree of treatment available in our industry and exclusively for obtaining specific compensation, instrumental and technical, with a view to the development of the industrial applications of nuclear energy in the country. 10. In the international field, the Brazilian program for the production of nuclear energy must take advantage of the scientific and technological experience of all friendly countries, guided only by the criterion of convenience. 11. To comply with the 1954 Agreement, by which we purchased from the United States of America 100.000 tons of wheat, adopting the criterion of payment in dollars as allowed by its Article 6. 12. To cancel definitively, in view of the highest national interest, the export to the United States of the 300 tons of thorium oxide, beyond and independently of any agreement, which was the subject of the Contract in 1956. 13. To use item b of the “Joint Program for the Recognition of Uranium Resources in Brazil”, signed on August 3 1955 with the Government of the United States of America, which reads: “Any of the two Governments may terminate the present program with previous 6 (six) months’ notice to the other Government”, in order to interrupt the commitments stemming from this Agreement, for reasons of national convenience. 14. To establish, in the future, an external policy of short term commitment, by which the Government may be able to negotiate, with all friendly countries, well prepared agreements that permit the installation of nuclear energy in the country. 15. To update existing legislation related to all aspects of nuclear energy in order to adapt it to the National Nuclear Energy policy that will be established. 16. In international commitments of any kind – agreements, conventions, understandings, etc. – whatever their classification – substantive or adjective – that deal with materials usable in the field of nuclear energy, there must always be a clause stating that they will only be valid when approved by the National Congress. 17. To adopt the principle that the National Nuclear Energy Policy formulated under the recommendations that will be approved by the National Security Council can only be changed after hearing that organ, in view of the importance of this issue to the future of the Nation. II In order to complement these recommendations and establish some aspects to guide the detailed examination that should be conducted by the General Secretariat of the National Security Council, with the help of competent organs, authorities and advisers, after the final decision on the national nuclear energy policy, this Studies Commission deems necessary to add the following considerations: 1. In general, the National Nuclear Energy Commission will have under its purview the supervision, planning, coordination and control of all activities related to nuclear energy, both internally and externally, as well as the carrying out of some of them, among which, on an exclusive basis, trade – purchase, stockpiling and sale, including export – of materials usable in the atomic field. It must have a structure capable of: a) Responding, through adequate organization, to all requests stemming from the multiple and complex initial tasks and those that may arise from dealing with the issues under its competence; b. To permit its affiliation, at the appropriate time, to the International Atomic Energy Agency as the Brazilian representative; c) Being responsible for the faithful observance of the National Nuclear Energy Policy, and submit to the National Security Council, through the General Secretariat of this organ, the initiatives that may become international commitments and the important decisions in the internal sphere; d) avail itself of efficient and readily informed technical and scientific advice, in order to permit opportune decisions convenient to our conjuncture in the atomic field; e) to rely on specialists in economics, administration, finance and other fields that may be necessary to accomplish its tasks; 2. The National Nuclear Energy Commission will be financed by the revenues generated by its own activities, budgetary funds and special credits, besides the National Nuclear Energy Fund, to be created by law. 3. In the elaboration of a Program for Personnel Formation, the National Nuclear Energy Commission will have two objectives in mind: a. emergency preparation, utilizing elements of different ages and diverse origins and cultural levels; b. a longer term preparation, preferably recruiting young elements, to guide them in this field of studies. At least in the initial stages of the formidable task of forming such a large and varied number of specialists, the Armed Forces must decidedly support this effort, opening their learning institutions to civilians. The Army Technical School can form geologists and mining engineers, indispensable to the prospection of our mineral reserves. The formation of able personnel, in different degrees, should encompass in the needed proportions elements needed for prospection and those tasked with the later stages of the industrialization of atomic energy. It is necessary to adopt measures to stimulate public interest in general and youth in particular in such issues, including: a. Inclusion in the syllabus of scientific and superior courses of issues related to the wide field of nuclear energy; b. intense dissemination of knowledge on nuclear energy by means of lectures, talks, TV and radio programs, cinema, publication in magazines and newspapers, seeking greater objectivity and simplicity; c. creation of university extension courses, in stages, of short duration, of a practical character, using half days or evenings, and gradually selective, by using facilities and material and human resources from civilian and military institutions. Renowned foreign professors should be engaged to teach in those institutions. A large number of students with proven intellectual capacity and able to return to Brazil should be sent to European and American schools. Attractive remuneration should be provided to the personnel utilized, including fixed wages according to civil service grades and variable bonuses, according to the degree of specialization and sector of activity, as well as measures of protection and guarantee in case of health hazard. It is necessary to create in an appropriate location, preferably away from large urban centers, a Nuclear Study and Research Center, where the largest numbers of personnel and material resources should be concentrated. 4. The National Nuclear Energy Commission shall establish a Program for Distribution of Resources Applicable in the Field of Nuclear Energy in our country. Such a Program shall include wide ranging planning – with the indication of convenient priorities among the activities to be carried out, in view of the scarcity of means – in personnel and material – so as to concentrate efforts on the most promising areas. Its execution will bring together government agencies and private enterprise, utilizing also foreign technicians whose services are engaged by the National Nuclear Energy Commission. Also here the cooperation of the Armed Forces is of great interest. In particular, the Air Force can render important services in aerial reconnaissance and the Army can carry out initial geological investigation in some regions, using, for this end, the elements presently tasked with the Geographic Mapping and Engineering Units, as long as they are reinforced with adequate means for the carrying out of this new mission, or shall create specific units if this becomes necessary. 5. The industry of initial treatment of atomic mineral existing in the country is an important achievement in the technical field and may be maintained as a commercial endeavor as long as it is adjusted to the high national objectives. Through the National Nuclear Energy Commission, the Government shall commit itself to acquiring, within limits and ceilings to be established in the National Program of Utilization of Nuclear, the materials usable in atomic industry to be produced. The ceilings to be established, which shall be periodically reviewed, shall obey the needs of utilization of these materials and its stockpiling, taking into account our financial possibilities. In the future, the financial cover for purchases shall avail itself of the resources of the National Nuclear Energy Fund. The National Nuclear Energy Commission shall also stimulate technical and industrial activities, among which the most important are: (a) urgent industrialization of uranium ores; (b) production of pure nuclear materials and other materials usable in the atomic field. 6. Regarding recommendation no. 7, it is interesting to stress that, despite the tremendous contribution offered to all peoples in the dissemination of techno-scientific information in the atomic field, whose historic initial landmark was the 1955 Geneva Conference, no substantial progress will be achieved in any national program in this sector unless the question of our own nuclear fuel production is solved. In fact, it cannot be denied that there is a true monopoly of nuclear fuels in the hands of the big powers. While the sale of certain kinds of reactors is free of restrictions, there will be absolute dependence of nuclear fuel for their operation. It suffices, in short, to examine the clauses of the agreements that the United States of America has been proposing to several nations, for the supply, or more properly, for the renting of nuclear fuels, to understand immediately the absolute control that they want to exert over this material, over its application – prohibiting military uses – over the special material produced in the reactors, and over the very kind of reactor in which they will be used, among many other restrictions. For Brazil the most important question to be solved is the production of nuclear fuels or fissionable materials. And since the world market offers at least some types of reactors, once we overcome that impasse, we will have reached, without restrictions, industrialization with nuclear energy. In this case, the existing industry of initial treatment of atomic ores and the one to be installed in the future will be able to attain unlimited development, for the chain of utilization of these products will be ensured. 7. The suspension of exports of products usable in the field of atomic energy is a measure of elementary prudence, while we examine our availabilities, so that our future, which may largely depend on this valuable source of energy, is not compromised. When there is a decision to export some of this material, within the scope of sub-item 9 of item I of the present document, maximum effort must be exerted in order to obtain, as specific compensation, facilities or reactors that can produce nuclear fuels in our country. We must utilize, with wisdom and prudence, our bargaining power, always looking toward the solution of that main problem in the nuclear sector. Commitments in such deals must be stipulated in well drafted agreements and always in short term, providing the necessary flexibility in a question that may evolve very rapidly due to technical innovation. In this way we will have better safeguarded our interests. In principle, uranium should not be exported, since even in natural form, that is, without treatment to transform it into U-235, and in view of the percentage, however small, of the fissionable element it usually contains, it may be used in other types of nuclear reactors. One interesting form of agreement, pending more detailed studies, could be the sale of material, once its export is authorized, in exchange for: a. payment corresponding to the price of said material in the international market which we know is considerably below its energy value; b. the cession, or sale, by the buyer, of means for the utilization of nuclear energy – instruments, especially regeneration reactors, or breeders, of the thorium cycle, and technical means of our choice for each concrete case. Materials and services that we should pay for in longer installments. 8. Recommendation no. 10 aims at ensuring our freedom of action to negotiate with all friendly countries, which will permit taking better advantage from our resources and also to find more adequate forms of producing nuclear fuels. One cannot forget that under that aspect, the state of the techno-scientific investigation by European countries is closer to our own situation as a nation capable of acquiring and expanding knowledge, but with limitations in the experimental field. 9. It is of the highest national interest that the 1954 Agreement, by which we receive 100.000 thousand tons of wheat from the United States of America, be paid in dollars and not in atomic ores, which would be our option for payment in accordance with Clause 6 of said Agreement. In fact, we are committed to repay almost half of that amount in dollars, that is, the value corresponding to the salts or rare earths contained in the materials that we had agreed to supply and was refused by the United States, who lost interest because they found more convenient sources. These rare earths are expensive products for us and were practically the only compensation tour exports of thorium compounds. It must be stressed that the United States had not accepted the rare earths corresponding to two years of the 1952 Agreement and took practically three years of thorium oxide from the mentioned Agreement. Doubtlessly they acted that way in view of respectable commercial interests, according to information, and open the way for us to safeguard our highest national interests. In fact, in the case we agreed to export the 300 tons under contract for the current year, beyond and independently from any agreement, the exported material, or to be exported, since the 1952 Agreement, in terms of thorium oxide, would have corresponded to one fifth of our officially recognized reserves. Moreover, taking into account the June 28 1955 communication from the National Research Council to the President of the Republic at the time – which he sent to the Ministry of External Relations, thus bringing to the presidential sphere the final solution of the issue – on that occasion it was deemed preferable to liquidate the 1954 Agreement in dollars “in order to safeguard the high interests of security and the national economy”. Since the respective contracts were finalized only in April 1956, it will fall on the present Government the responsibility to choose its form of execution. It must also be said that, by a regrettable oversight, the interested agency failed to bring the question to the decision of the President of the Republic, as it should have done. 10. On its part, the export of the 300 tons of thorium oxide – a contract also finalized in 1956 – was the subject of a confidential Exposição de Motivos dated April 12 1956, from the Ministry of External Relations to the President of the Republic, who implicitly conditioned his decision to what is expressed in item 2 of that communication, the text of which follows: “That Commission [of Export of Strategic Materials] also decided that the contracts to be signed about such export, between the competent agencies of the Brazilian Government and the United States of America, respectively and in the usual form, the External Trade Office of Banco do Brasil S.A. and the Atomic Energy Commission, should permit the eventual suspension of exports, if this is in the national interest”. However, afterwards, on instructions from the President of the Republic, made public by the leader of the Government at the Chamber of Deputies, such export was suspended until new communication emanating from the recommendations that this Commission would make. This decision, and that of tasking the National Security Council with the formulation of the National Nuclear Energy Policy gave assurances to public opinion, because this is a security factor to be considered, to-day more than ever, on account of the degree of interest with which it follows the evolution of the most relevant national problems. In a nutshell, thus, one must state that it is in the interest of the progress of Brazil and of national security that this invaluable material for the production of energy be only exported against specific compensation. 11. It is recommended to terminate the “Joint Cooperation Program on the Prospection of Uranium Resources in Brazil”, the matter of the Agreement with the United States of America, signed on August 3 1955, for national security reasons, among which the need for better safeguarding our sovereignty and that of interrupting the commitments to which the normal course of this Agreement would commit us – the export of uranium – a sort of compensation for the services rendered by the other contracting party and announced as possible in Article II of said Agreement, in this way: “The Government of the United States of Brazil assures the Government of the United States of America that it is favorable disposed to supply uranium to the United States of America according to terms to be mutually agreed and under conditions compatible with its own internal needs of uranium for nuclear energy purposes. In case commercially exploitable uranium deposits are found, both Governments, through their respective responsible agencies, shall start negotiations for the realization of a contract mutually satisfactory which encompasses development, production and sale of uranium to the United States of America”, and, in particular, because while Brazil is not in a position to utilize the uranium it may possess – which, according to the clause above it would be willing to export – it is highly convenient to stockpile it because of its high energy value and because it is a material that even if not enriched, can be used in nuclear reactors, including as a starting point for future acquisition of enriched nuclear fuels. 12. The studies aiming at the creation of the National Nuclear Energy Commission and the National Nuclear Energy Fund, as well as other measures needed to establish the National Nuclear Energy policy, should be swiftly concluded, with the assistance of competent agencies and elements. Such measures should possibly include the repeal or change of the legislation in force, amendments to draft legislation or formulation of new drafts or substitutes, to be sent to the Legislative, in accordance with the usage regarding relations between the Executive and that power. The existing Commission of the Export of Strategic Materials (CEME) will lose jurisdiction over materials that are deemed to belong to the realm of nuclear energy, being kept under the norms in force or with the changes that specialized studies may advise, in order to deal with the remaining strategic materials. The link between the National Nuclear Energy Commission and the National Department of Mineral Production, of the Ministry of Agriculture, should be the subject of deep examination. In order to take away from the tasks of the National Research Council those belonging to the nuclear energy sector, now totally under the purview of the National Nuclear Energy Commission, a careful study is necessary regarding the appropriate administrative and financial measures, as well as on the establishment of the links between these two agencies and their fields of action. 13. Any international commitment dealing with materials usable in the field of nuclear energy must be submitted to the approval of the National Congress, which will allow the Executive Power to share with it the responsibilities entailed. Such commitments, in view of their importance to national security, must all be submitted to the sovereign decision of the National Congress, whatever their legal classification. 13 Whenever the need arises to change the National Nuclear Energy Policy, or important doubts in its execution come up, the National Security Council should be consulted, for it is a problem closely linked to the future of Brazil, and it is not an exaggeration to stress all prudent and cautionary measures. As a matter of fact, an analysis of previous action would warrant such precaution, because despite the sane policy we had put forth in the atomic sector, in several occasions its execution was not satisfactory, perhaps due to lack of coordination among the agencies. III. In the definition of its recommendations, complemented with observations regarding some basic points, this Studies Commission intended to establish the doctrine it deemed adequate to the needs of our country, in the atomic energy sector, taking into account the international conjunctures, seeking also to guarantee its appropriate execution. The essential points of this doctrine deserve to be recapitulated: The fundamental problem for Brazil, a country endowed with atomic mineral reserves, is to produce, in the shortest possible delay, nuclear fuels, that is, fissionable materials. The best use of this wealth will be achieved when we succeed in transforming it into industrial energy. For that end it is necessary to mobilize: a) technicians; b) capitals; c) raw materials; d) interaction of the above factors. To stimulate progress in the applications, in Brazil, of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, precious assistance can be provided by friendly nations, with which the Brazilian Government shall negotiate agreements that will permit the production of nuclear fuels in our country, necessary for the development of our industry, having always in mind the objective of the nuclear policy described above. In the negotiation of said agreements, it should always be kept in mind that the eventual sale of certain quantities of our atomic materials, which should be decided only after the verification of our industrial and stockpiling needs, will be made against specific compensation. These shall be formulated in an explicit and clear manner by the competent agencies, so that the negotiators may be able to act authoritatively and with full knowledge of the issues involved. The participation of private economy in the industrialization of nuclear energy is admissible, but always under strict control of the State. To guide, coordinate, carry out and verify the application of the National Nuclear Energy Policy adopted by the Brazilian Government, a National Nuclear Energy Commission shall be created, whose unity of action, economy of means, definition of responsibilities, respecting the possible flexibility of decisions, shall contribute to stimulate in an efficient way the process of industrialization of nuclear energy and its applications. Finally, this Study Commission, in discharging the creditable and important mission that His Excellency the President of the Republic entrusted to it, wishes to state that with the National Nuclear Energy Policy now proposed – composed of recommendations, all of them unanimously approved, whose worth and efficacy will derive from its joint adoption – the present Government will have a powerful and dynamic instrument to lead Brazil swiftly forward, as it is urgent, in industrialization with nuclear energy”. The Secretary-General, General Nelson de Mello, adds that the General Secretariat of the National Security Council had already carried out, as later suggested by members of the Study Commission, a study that it intended to submit to the Council about corrections to the wording of some of the draft recommendations and the addition of a few others. Such changes were of form, orfting, without, however, modifying the contents. The changes regarded recommendation no. 12, that reads: “To cancel definitively, in view of the highest national interest, the export to the United States of the 300 tons of thorium oxide, beyond and independently of any agreement, which was the subject of the Contract in 1956,” which would now read: “To cancel the export of the 300 tons of thorium oxide that were the subject of contract in 1956”. General Anor Teixeira fully agrees with the new wording, adding that he had made the original proposal at the Studies Commission. The correction is also approved by the members of the Council. Recommendation no. 13 is then considered: “To utilize item b of Article XVI of the Joint Cooperation Program on the Prospection of Uranium Resources in Brazil, signed on August 3 1955 with the Government of the United States of America, which reads as follows: “Any of the two Governments may terminate the present program, by previous six months’ notice to the other Government”, with a view to interrupt the commitments stemming from this Agreement, for reasons of national convenience”. The new wording proposed is: “To utilize item b of Article XVI of the Joint Cooperation Program on the Prospection of Uranium Resources in Brazil, signed on August 3 1955, which reads: “Any of the two Governments may terminate the present program by previous six months’ notice to the other Government”, in order to interrupt the commitments stemming from this Agreement, so that the Government may negotiate other agreements better adjusted to the recommended nuclear policy”. This change is also approved by all members. Next, the Secretary-General introduces a new recommendation, which would take number 18, with the following wording: “To recommend that regular or extraordinary budgetary resources be requested for the acquisition of materials usable in the nuclear energy field produced by interests industries and other expenses, while the Nuclear Energy Fund is not created”. Minister José Maria Alkmin proposes that instead of extraordinary, the expression special be adopted. The suggestion is unanimously approved by the Council. General Henrique Duffles Teixeira Lott inquires whether the expression other expenses includes contracts of technical personnel, to what the Secretary-General responds affirmatively. The new recommendation is unanimously accepted. The President of the Republic states for the record that he deemed useful and convenient, since the issue was under debate, that the conclusions be published because this would mark the position taken by the competent organs, that is, the National Security Council and the Government itself. His Excellency consults the Council for its opinion. The immediate publication of the approved recommendations was unanimously approved by the members of the Council. General Lott calls attention to a point that had not been fully, but only implicitly, clarified. The exploration of deposits that contain fissionable materials can be undertaken by anyone. The Government will not do what it is doing in the case of petroleum. The Government controls sales within the country, as well as export commitments from Government to Government, but will not prevent activities of production of these minerals as long as prospection, mining and treatment are under the charge of private industry. General Lott stresses that recommendation no. 5 explicitly mentions industrial activity, but not mining, which is a very important point since industrial activity is one thing and mining is something else, and it is not clearly said that private interests could mine those deposits. Admiral Guillobel notes that recommendation no. 5 should read: “support national industry in the prospection, mining and treatment”. Next, Minister Clovis Salgado takes the floor to recall, preliminarily, to the President, that the question of the geologist prospectors, whose need has been very much stressed, was the subject of an Exposição de Motivos from the Ministry of Education, already approved by the President, to the effect that three other centers for the formation of geologists should also be created. He adds that, with presidential approval, work has been started and a decree can be submitted to presidential signature next month. Next, mentioning the main objective of the meeting, he comments on Recommendation no. 7, which reads: “To establish as a fundamental point of the National Nuclear Energy Policy to be adopted, to produce in the country, in the shortest possible delay, nuclear fuels, from nuclear pure metals, under total control and property of the Government”. He understands in this case that the activity reserved by the Government to itself is only the question of nuclear pure metals, which limits is power. He does not consider this to be reasonable. General Lott, in an aside, remarks that the Government control is always exerted; what we wish is to have the monopoly of the production of nuclear fuels, that is, the industrial stage that starts from nuclear pure metals until obtaining fissionable materials, without prejudice to Government initiative, whenever necessary, in the other stages of the industrialization and production of nuclear energy. The President of the Republic recalls that what was under discussion were mere recommendations. The final definition would come in the law, which had not yet been drafted. General Henrique Fleuiss recalls that, in principle, the governmental action would be about pure metals. The Minister of Education withdraws his observation and goes on to read Recommendation no. 17, commenting that the wording seems to exclude the National Congress, since the National Security Council will always have to be heard. This observation was debated, at the end of which the Minister of Justice suggested a satisfactory formula with the following wording: “To adopt the principle that the National Policy can only be changed with prior consultation with the National Security Council”. General Teixeira Lott, in an aside, says that the National Security Council must always be consulted, since it is the technical organ especially entrusted with National Security. The President of the Republic recalls that Recommendation 16 ensures adequately the respect toward the National Congress, albeit for other ends, and contains the explicit wish to recognize it by saying: “International commitments of any kind – agreements, conventions, understandings, etc. – must always contain a clause making clear that they will only be valid if approved by the National Congress”. The Minister of Education, Dr. Clovis Salgado, agrees, despite the fact that the recommendation under examination mentioned only international commitments, and not internal ones. General Anor Teixeira dos Santos warns that Law 1310/51 allows the President of the Republic to draw the National Nuclear Energy Policy. Recommendation no. 17, under examination, advises the President of the Republic to hear the Council, a recommendation, by the way, that could be accepted or not by His Excellency. Minister José Maria Alkmin insists that the Recommendations may be changed after hearing the National Security Council, the appropriate agency, without implications either for the Executive of for the purview of the Legislative. Minister Clovis Salgado stresses that it is not necessary because it is obvious and that the way Recommendation 17 was drafted could give rise to deceitful interpretations. Minister José Maria Alkimin stresses the great usefulness of this recommendation, saying he recently had experienced great difficulties and even did not know at a certain stage how to decide on doubts about the carrying out of the nuclear policy previously followed, because of changes introduced by different agencies, often by their own initiative and without coordination. In the continuation of the debate, Minister Lott says the emphasis is not too much and that it addressed a situation we were experiencing and wish to correct in this meeting, since despite having adopted in the past certain political guidelines in the nuclear energy sector, these guidelines had been changed in some occasions, probably without following the norms now put forth, however obvious. Minister Clovis Salgado withdraws what he had said, since his doubts had not been shared by other members. He adds that this policy is the most adapted to the interests of the country and remarks that everyone should congratulate the illustrious Studies Commission, which had formulated the recommendations and found a realistic, objective and patriotic solution. It is a healthy form of nationalism, adopting in each case the most convenient position at the moment and reserving the right to change it when advisable. At the close of the Session the Secretary-General reads the press communiqué, as follows: “THE HEAD OF THE MILITARY HOUSEHOLD AND SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL DISTRIBUTED THE FOLLOWING NOTE TO THE PRESS: THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL met to-day, at 7 PM, at Catete Palace, under the presidency of His Excellency the President of the Republic, with the presence of its illustrious members, Ministers of State and Heads of Staff of the Armed Forces, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, to consider the Nuclear Energy Policy to be adopted by the Government. This high organ examined the following recommendations proposed by the Commission especially tasked with studying the nuclear energy policy best adapted to the national interest and security: 1. To create the National Nuclear Energy Commission, as an agency directly under the President of the Republic, entrusted with the nuclear energy sector and acting in conformity with the governmental guidelines for the National Nuclear Energy Policy. 2. To create the National Nuclear Energy Fund, to be used exclusively for the development of the utilization of nuclear energy. 3. To formulate a wide ranging and intensive program of preparation of scientists, technicians and specialists in the several sectors related to nuclear energy. 4. To establish a program to ascertain urgently our availabilities in minerals of interest to the production of nuclear energy – quantity, quality, economic worth and possibilities of industrial exploitation. 5. To support the national industry in the prospection, mining and treatment of minerals of interest to the production of nuclear energy and enlarge it, especially in order to encompass also uranium yielding ores. To promote its progress so that it reaches a higher stage, that is, the production of nuclear pure metals. 6. To exert governmental control over the trade – purchase, stockpiling and sale, including export – of materials usable in the field of nuclear energy. 7. To establish as a fundamental tenet of the National Nuclear Policy to be adopted, the production in the country, in the shortest possible delay, nuclear fuels, from nuclear pure metals, under full control and property of the Government. 8. To suspend the export of uranium and thorium, their compounds and ores, and of other materials that may be designated by the National Nuclear Energy Policy to be adopted, until further decision by the National Security Council. 9. Only after having sure data about the existence, in our country, of substantial mineral reserves usable in the field of nuclear energy and convenient stockpiling of treated material is assured, for our program in this sector, with approval by the National Security Council, may the Government negotiate abroad certain quantities of this material – in the highest possible degree of treatment by our industry – and exclusively to obtain specific compensation, instrumental and technical – with a view to the development of nuclear energy applications in the country. 10. In the international field, the Brazilian program for the production of nuclear energy should utilize the scientific and technological experience of all friendly countries, guided only for what is most convenient for us. 11. To comply with the 1954 Agreement – by which we purchased 100.000 tons of wheat from the United States of America – adopting the criterion of payment in dollars as allowed by Clause 6 (six) of the instrument. 12 To cancel the export of the 3000 tons of thorium oxide, object of a 1956 contract. 13. To utilize item b of Article XVI of the Joint Cooperation Program on the Prospection of Uranium Resources in Brazil, signed on August 3 1955, which reads: “Any of the two Governments may terminate the present program by giving previous six months’ notice to the other Government”, in order to interrupt the commitments stemming from that Agreement, so that the Government may negotiate other agreements better adjusted to the recommended nuclear policy. 14. To establish, for the future, an external policy of short term commitment, by which the Government may be able to negotiate with all friendly Governments, well founded agreements that permit the establishment of the atomic industry in the country. 15. To update the current legislation related to all aspects of the nuclear energy sector, in order to adapt it to the National Nuclear Energy Policy which comes to be established. 16. In international commitments of any kind – agreements, conventions, understandings, etc. – whose subject is materials usable in the field of nuclear energy, a clause must always be included stressing that said commitment will only be valid if approved by the National Congress. 17. To adopt the principle that the National Nuclear Energy Policy, formulated by virtue of the recommendations that come to be approved by the National Security Council, can only be changed after this high agency is consulted, in view of the importance of this issue to the destiny of the nation. 28. To recommend that budgetary resources, either regular or special, be requested to address the acquisition of materials usable in the field of nuclear energy produced by interested industries and other expenses, while the Nuclear Energy Fund is not yet created. II. In view of the conclusions arrived at by the National Security Council, His Excellency the President of the Republic decided to approve these recommendations and adopt them as Governmental Guidelines for the National Nuclear Energy Policy, according to paragraph One of Article 5 of Law no. 1310/51.”(Signed) GENERAL NELSON DE MELLO – Head of the Military Household and Secretary-General of the National Security Council. On August 30 1956 at 8:45 PM, after consulting the members of the Council on whether there was any remaining issue to be discussed, the President of the Republic thanked the participants and closes the Session, declaring that he approves, adopting as National Nuclear Energy Policy, the Report presented by the Studies Commission examined in this meeting and unanimously accepted by the National Security Council with the changes suggested and approved in this Session. He adds that the competent authorities will take the necessary measures for the swift carrying out of this new policy. For the record, I, General Nelson de Mello, prepared these minutes which I sign together with the members of the National Security Council present at the Session. (signed) Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira. President of the National Security Council. (The signatures of the other members follow).
At this meeting the National Security Council decided to reform the Brazilian nuclear sector by placing it under the direction of CNEN (National Nuclear Energy Commission). The CSN suggested young technicians and academics should be instructed abroad in order to stimulate the development of professionals in that field. One of the objectives of the nuclear policy was the production of nuclear fuel from domestically-sourced minerals. The Brazilian government criticized the monopoly on nuclear fuel by the big powers.
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