Brazil’s Minister of Defense, José Viegas, declared today that the Brazilian government is offering the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) every assurance that “there is no diversion of nuclear material” in the country.
According to Viegas, “Brazil has nothing to hide in terms of the use of nuclear material and never refused to open the Resende facilities or any other for inspection.”
Yesterday, IAEA technicians conducted an inspection tour of the nuclear fuel plant in Resende, in the interior of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
According to information furnished by the press office of the Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB), the technicians’ visual access was limited to sample points, connections, and pipes.
Brazil imposed restrictions on access to the centrifuges in order to protect Brazilian trade secrets in the area of uranium enrichment technology.
“The country has no clandestine facility and opens its nuclear installations to the Agency,” Viegas emphasized, after participating in the Science and Technology Seminar in the Planalto Palace.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Eduardo Campos, who also participated in the seminar, affirmed that the government is now waiting for the Agency to take an official stand on the work of the technicians.
“We shall remain silent for the time being, and we hope that the Agency will be able to announce its opinion in the time period it normally takes,” he observed.
The three technicians sent by the Agency also met today, at the headquarters of the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN), in Rio. The group is formed by an American, a Frenchman, and a South African.
They considered satisfactory the inspection policy solutions offered by the Brazilian government to safeguard the uranium enrichment plant.
The inspectors will now send their IAEA superiors a report with a technical evaluation of the solutions presented by the Brazilian government.
Translator: David Silberstein