An Emerging Nuclear Power
In the past few years, Brazil has renewed its interest in nuclear energy both for peaceful and military use. Possessing the sixth largest reserve of the world’s uranium and the key technologies for producing nuclear fuel, the Brazilian government resumed its nuclear program in 2003. While its third nuclear power plant is still under construction, Brazil—which renounced nuclear weapons in 1990—is also engaged in building a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. By 2013, it is expected to join the exclusive club of nations equipped with such vessels. Although Brazil has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is a critic of some norms of the international regime of nuclear proliferation, such as the Additional Protocol dealing with international safeguards. It has also criticized the lack of commitment towards nuclear disarmament among nations already possessing nuclear arms. This chapter will analyze the Brazilian nuclear diplomacy of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s and Dilma Rousseff’s administrations. Particular attention will be given to Brazil’s position in the international regime of nuclear non-proliferation, to the 2010 attempt to negotiate a deal between Iran and the nuclear powers, and, finally, to the international relevance of Brazil’s current nuclear plans.
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