The President of Brazil’s National Nuclear Energy Commission (Comissão Nacional de Energia Nuclear, CNEN), Odair Gonçalves, denied that Brazil offered to supply China’s plants with nuclear fuel produced with uranium enrichment technology developed by the Navy.
The information was published Sunday, May 29, in the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, citing an anonymous government source. According to the newspaper, the proposal would have been made on May 2004, during President Lula’s visit to China.
According to Gonçalves, China has indeed demonstrated interest on the subject, but Brazilian law does not permit this type of sale.
He also opposed reports that the Brazilian government had a rebellious attitude last year, by resisting to opening the Navy’s uranium enrichment technology to the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Odair Gonçalves said that the country never tried to bar IAEA’s inspectors, and that it really just wanted to negotiate inspection procedures.
“There was no resistance to open our technology, and IAEA never made this request to Brazil,” said Gonçalves.
According to him, the issue under discussion was the safeguards control. “The process was totally normal and calm, without any big conflicts, and the newspaper suggested the opposite,” he added.
CNEN’s President emphasized that Brazil does not, nor it intends to, integrate the P5, the group of countries that have nuclear weapons and technology to develop an atomic bomb.