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[cdn-nucl-l] Brazil wants to master all facets of nuclear technology
Posted on Yahoo News on January 7, 2003 and at:
Sounds like good news coming from Brazil.
Brazil wants to master all facets of nuclear technology
Tue Jan 7, 4:13 PM ET
BRASILIA, Brazil - Brazil wants to master all facets of nuclear technology
for peaceful purposes but has no plans to build a nuclear device, Science
and Technology Minister Roberto Amaral said Tuesday.
The government plans to contact the International Atomic Energy Agency to
clarify any misunderstanding from remarks the minister made during an
interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. that aired Sunday, a ministry
Parts of the interview were published Tuesday by daily newspaper O Estado de
"Nuclear energy represents a wide field of knowledge and the nuclear bomb is
just a fragment of that knowledge," spokeswoman Fernanda Melazo quoted
Amaral as saying Tuesday. "We want to acquire this knowledge because of its
applications in medicine, food production and in many other peaceful
"This is what we will tell the IAEA," the Vienna, Austria-based U.N. nuclear
monitoring agency, Melazo said.
Talking to reporters Tuesday in a hospital in Brasilia where he is being
treated of pneumonia, Amaral told local reporters Brazil "reaffirms its
commitment to the Nonproliferation Nuclear Treaty," which the South American
country joined in 1994.
In the interview with BBC Amaral said Brazil was against the proliferation
of nuclear weapons and would respect its obligations as a member of the
nonproliferation treaty. "We will not build nuclear weapons but we cannot
turn our back to scientific knowledge," he told BBC.
This knowledge, he added "includes everything - genome, DNA, nuclear
He stressed that knowledge was "strategic" for Brazil.
Brazil has long been considered one of the countries with the potential
capacity to build nuclear weapons. Other countries in the region with the
same potential are Mexico and Argentina. All have signed the
Amaral's remarks reiterated comments by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
during last year's election campaign. Before a group of retired military
officers, Silva said in September that he would reactivate a US$100 million
plan to build a nuclear submarine.
"I want a strong Brazil, respected economically, technically and
militarily," he said at that time.
Days after being sworn in on Jan. 1, Silva announced a nationwide campaign
to fight hunger as his government's first priority. As part of that
priority, he suspended plans to buy up to 12 jet fighters worth US$700