U.S. State Department Geographic Bureaus: Latin America Bureau

U.S. Department of State
96/03/01 Statement: US/Brazil-Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy
Office of the Spokesman

Office of the Spokesman

(Brasilia, Brazil)
For Immediate Release March 1, 1996



U.S. Secretary of the State Warren Christopher and Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Felipe Lampreia witnessed the initialing of an Agreement for Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy at a ceremony at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia on March 1, 1996. U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Melvyn Levitsky initialled the agreement on behalf of the United States Government.

This is the first formal stage toward conclusion of a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. On the U.S. side, further steps include preparation of a nuclear proliferation assessment statement; approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and the Secretaries of Energy and State; authorization by the President; and signature. Once signed, the agreement lies before Congress for a review period of 90 legislative days. If no legislation is enacted to disapprove the agreement, it may come into force immediately thereafter. Similar steps are required in Brazil, except that final enactment requires affirmative ratification by both chambers of Congress.

The agreement will replace the 1972 Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Civil Uses of Atomic Energy, and will have an initial term of 30 years. It will enable the two countries to buy or transfer material, equipment, and components related to nuclear power generation and for other peaceful nuclear purposes. The agreement will provide for the exchange of information on use of nuclear materials in physical and biological research, medicine, agriculture and industry, fuel cycle studies, radiation protection, and assessments of the role of nuclear power in the national energy plans. All appropriate safeguards and limitations, including controls on reprocessing and uranium enrichment, are incorporated in the agreement, in accordance with conventions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This is in substance the same agreement as the one signed on February 29 in Argentina.

The agreement would not have been possible without the firm commitment Brazil has made to nuclear nonproliferation. In coordination with Argentina and Chile, Brazil put into effect the Treaty of Tlatelolco in January 1994, establishing a nuclear-free zone in Latin America. Brazil has also adopted full-scope IAEA nuclear nonproliferation safeguards and entered into the Quadripartite Agreement with Argentina, the IAEA, and the independent Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Material (ABACC) The United States has also endorsed Brazil's application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).


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