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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • August 27, 1947

    Minutes of the Tenth Session of the Brazilian National Security Council, Alvaro Alberto’s proposal to establish a Brazilian Atomic Energy Program

    The minutes describe the internal discussion at the National Security Council of a proposal to establish a nuclear program sent from New York by Admiral Alvaro Alberto, who was representing Brazil at the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC). The Council approved the Admiral’s proposal and one of its members, Colonel Bernardino Corrêa de Matos Netto declared that "it is not convenient that Brazil relinquishes [nuclear energy], because it is necessary to prepare the ground for future generations."

  • August 30, 1956

    Minutes of the Twentieth Session of the Brazilian National Security Council, Second Brazilian Nuclear Plan

    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.

  • October 04, 1967

    Minutes of the Fortieth Session of the Brazilian National Security Council

    Guidelines for the Brazilian nuclear policy in Costa e Silva’s government (1967-1969) and defines the diplomatic attitude of Brazil regarding the negotiations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). During the meeting of the National Security Council, participants agreed on the need to cooperate with another country to start a national nuclear program. On the NPT negotiations, the members of the National Security Council agreed to establish a condition to adhere to the Treaty: the defense of the right to develop peaceful nuclear explosions. Several ministers defended the possibility of using nuclear energy in the future for international security reasons.

  • August 13, 1974

    Memorandum, Information for the President of Brazil, No. 055/74 from the National Security Council

    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.

  • June 18, 1979

    Notice No. 135/79 from the General Secretariat of the Brazilian National Security Council

    In 1978 the National Security Council identified the most important shortcoming of nuclear cooperation with Germany: the non-transfer of technology for the production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6). The lack of this crucial phase for the production of nuclear fuel led Brazil to decide to develop this method by national means, in view of the unwillingness of France and Great Britain to export said technology without a full scope of safeguards. The document reports how the government decided to create an autonomous nuclear project with regard to cooperation with Germany and free from the international safeguards regime. Coordinated by CNEN and implemented by the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN), this project represented the first phase of the “parallel” nuclear program whose objective was the autonomous mastery of the nuclear cycle.

  • February 21, 1985

    Memorandum, Information for the President of Brazil, No. 011/85 from the National Security Council, Structure of the Parallel Nuclear Program

    This top-secret document describes the secret parallel nuclear—or autonomous—program. The program resulted from the common effort of the three Branches of the Armed Forces—the Army, Navy and Air Force, plus CNEN and IPEN—under the coordination of the National Security Council. The objective was “to develop national competence to create conditions for wide-ranging use of nuclear energy, including naval propulsion and the production of nuclear explosives for peaceful purposes.