First Latin-American Nuclear Submarine to Be Built by Brazil and Argentina

French submarine Scorpene The Brazilian government says that Brazil will start working jointly with Argentina in the construction of a nuclear submarine, the first in Latin America, to be built using French technology, according to reports in the Buenos Aires press.

For that purpose, a binational company would be formed, to develop a small-size reactor already created by Argentina's INVAP technology institute and to be installed in conventional French designed Scorpene class submarines.

Earlier this month, France had agreed to provide Brazil with technology to build an attack submarine, but dismissed the possibility of any nuclear technology transfer. Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said that this project would also be useful in the construction of nuclear energy plants.

During a visit to Argentina, Brazilian Defense Minister, Nelson Jobim, said that "we have talked with Defense Minister, Nilda Garré, and three Argentine commanders with whom we agreed to create a binational company to develop the compact nuclear small-sized reactor" to be used in a locally made submarine, said the minister in an interview with Argentina's daily newspaper Clarí­n.

Before returning to Brazil from last week's energy summit the minister said that the military project also has civil purposes: "This technology will allow us to build energy plants with the capacity to supply big cities."

Jobim mentioned that Brazil has discussed a strategic alliance with French President Nicolas Sarkozy "to build a non-nuclear part of the submarine in Brazil. Meanwhile, the power plant would come from the Argentine-Brazilian binational company."

Sarkozy had stated earlier this month that France was willing to transfer technology to allow the Scorpene French attack submarine and Rafale fighter planes to be built in Brazil, but he stopped short of any nuclear technology transfer.

The Scorpene class submarine is a conventional attack submarine, but Brazilian officials have said they want the diesel-powered vessel to serve as a model for the development of a Brazilian-Argentine nuclear submarine that would be the first in Latin America.

The nuclear technology would come from CAREM, a small-sized-reactor prototype developed by INVAP Argentine state-run technology institute. INVAP was created in 1976 through an agreement between the National Atomic Energy Commission and the Rí­o Negro government.

A pioneer in nuclear technology in the region, INVAP has exported nuclear technology to Peru, Algeria, Egypt, and recently a 20 MW power plant to Australia. It is the only Argentine company acknowledged by the NASA to construct satellites in Argentina, and is now in charge of building radars to supply local airports.

Last Monday the Argentine government agreed to create a commission on pursuing joint uranium enrichment for peaceful nuclear energy purposes, including the joint construction of a nuclear-powered electricity generator and of a satellite.

Brazil's President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Argentina's leader, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, had instructed their governments to begin negotiations over the next 120 days toward creating the binational commission. Jobim said that Argentines will provide experience in the nuclear sector.



  • Show Comments (16)

  • Eduardo C.

    Nuclear submarine of Brazil will have reactor of the Brazilian Navy The Minister of the Defense, Nelson Jobim, explained in this monday (25/2) that Brazil and Argentina will have to create a binational company to develop nuclear reactors destined exclusively to the production of electric energy. The initiative is inserted in the signed agreement enters the two countries in the last friday (22/2) during visit of the president of the Republic, Luiz InÀƒ¡cio Lula Da Silva, to the neighboring country. The agreement aims at to the cooperation in the nuclear and energy area, among others points. The Minister of the Defense denied, however, that the Brazil-Argentina partner if extends to the construction of the Brazilian nuclear submarine, differently of what he was published in the weekend in Argentine periodicals. À¢€œIt is only for energy productionÀ¢€Â, clarified Jobim. The submarine to nucelar, according to minister, will have to be produced with nuclear technology developed by Brazil, having to the front the centers of research of the Navy, in IperÀƒ³ (SP). Already the not nuclear part of the submarine, mainly the electronic hoof and systems, must have for base the conventional submarine French Scorpene. The Brazilian intention is that the development of the nuclear part counts on French technology transfer from an agreement in quarrel between the two countries. As much the propellant of the submarine how much the nuclear fuel is of technology of the Brazilian Navy. The government guaranteed that the project of the submarine will have R$ 130 annual million, for the stated period of eight years, for the conclusion of the reactor, that also will be able to have its project adapted for the electricity generation. Assessorship of Communication Ministry of the Defense

  • Eduardo C.

    Submarino nuclear do Brasil terÀƒ¡ reator da Marinha brasileira

    O Ministro da Defesa , Nelson Jobim, explicou nesta segunda-feira (25/2) que o Brasil e a Argentina deverÀƒ£o criar uma empresa binacional para desenvolver reatores nucleares destinados exclusivamente ÀƒÂ  produÀƒ§Àƒ£o de energia elÀƒ©trica. A iniciativa insere-se no acordo assinado entre os dois paÀƒ­ses na Àƒºltima sexta-feira (22/2) durante visita do presidente da RepÀƒºblica, Luiz InÀƒ¡cio Lula da Silva, ao paÀƒ­s vizinho. O acordo visa ÀƒÂ  cooperaÀƒ§Àƒ£o na Àƒ¡rea nuclear e energÀƒ©tica, entre outros pontos.

    O Ministro da Defesa negou, no entanto, que a parceira Brasil-Argentina se estenda ÀƒÂ  construÀƒ§Àƒ£o do submarino nuclear brasileiro, diferentemente do que foi publicado no fim de semana em jornais argentinos. À¢€œÀƒ‰ apenas para produÀƒ§Àƒ£o de energiaÀ¢€Â, esclareceu Jobim. O submarino nucelar, segundo o ministro, deverÀƒ¡ ser produzido com tecnologia nuclear desenvolvida pelo Brasil, tendo ÀƒÂ  frente os centros de pesquisa da Marinha, em IperÀƒ³ (SP).

    JÀƒ¡ a parte nÀƒ£o nuclear do submarino, principalmente o casco e os sistemas eletrÀƒ´nicos, deverÀƒ¡ ter por base o submarino convencional francÀƒªs Scorpene. A intenÀƒ§Àƒ£o brasileira Àƒ© que o desenvolvimento da parte nuclear conte com transferÀƒªncia de tecnologia francesa a partir de um acordo em discussÀƒ£o entre os dois paÀƒ­ses. Tanto o propulsor do submarino quanto o combustÀƒ­vel nuclear sÀƒ£o de tecnologia da Marinha brasileira. O governo garantiu que o projeto do submarino terÀƒ¡ R$ 130 milhÀƒµes anuais, pelo prazo de oito anos, para a conclusÀƒ£o do reator, que tambÀƒ©m poderÀƒ¡ ter seu projeto adaptado para a geraÀƒ§Àƒ£o de eletricidade.

    Assessoria de ComunicaÀƒ§Àƒ£o
    MinistÀƒ©rio da Defesa

  • forrest allen brown


  • João da Silva

    You said that you are an European,right. Please go to the thread and give your views:


    I think the comments of “dnbaiacu” is very interesting and our distinguished bloggers Forrest and Jay would also like to participate in it.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]LULA, so name it Lula which I believe and correct me if I am wrong , Lula is slang(?) for octupus…he wants a cult of personality anyways[/quote]

    You are wise beyond your age 😉

  • jon


    Well it probably will not be named after a Brazilian general like Castello-Branco and according to opinion polls, historically speaking, the most popular politician ever is LULA, so name it Lula which I believe and correct me if I am wrong , Lula is slang(?) for octupus…he wants a cult of personality anyways

  • João da Silva

    HE WAS A MARINER WAS HE NOT . [/quote]

    Forrest, you need to see an ophthalmologist at the first port you reach, unless you have a rare One REAL currency . The ones with me have a fierce looking lady with her hair decorated with leaves. On the other side the bird “Beija Flor” appears.

    [quote]the war herois of brazil are very limited to the back of there own minds JOAO[/quote]

    I wouldn’t recommend naming our beloved sub after any military figure, because there is a risk of its being confiscated by the Italian judges!

    [quote]name it after the amazon river dalphins , you know the pink ones

    or just
    PAU [/quote]

    I know you are a tree hugger and lover of the Amazon and its exotic wild life! However, they are not the author of this wonderful idea nor are they financing it.

    It has to be named after a popular Brazilian leader 😉

  • forrest allen brown




    the war herois of brazil are very limited to the back of there own minds JOAO

    name it after the amazon river dalphins , you know the pink ones

    or just


    🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁
    IT takes Billions of dollars to develop a sub let alone a NUC.
    Someones brother in law must be in the sub contractor business.

  • João da Silva

    I said:

    [quote]The new Sub has to be named after a very important historical figure[/quote]

    I am very disappointed that Forrest and Ch.c lack the minimal knowledge of our history. It is a puzzle, lads. The clue: “never before in the history of our republic……………..”. The answer is so near,but so far away 🙂

  • ch.c.

    Ahhhh……ahhhh !
    Just refer to yesterday article on the same subject !
    It said “”The Brazilian Navy has been developing projects in the nuclear area since 1979 “
    And still no nuclear submarine….in 2008 !

    As to thr question “Have we got a name for the sub yet? “
    Of course : the S.S……the Sinking Submarine

    It takes years to build one….if you have the know how !
    It takes far more years to build if you dont have the know how !
    And the next submarine you will have is already ordered to the French.
    Not even a nuclear submarine.
    It costs Us$ 600 millions and you will pay it over……20 years !
    Details have been written around a 1-2 weeks ago….on this site.


  • forrest allen brown

    hay joao
    mud whistle




  • João da Silva

    [quote]the “S.S. TUPI ??[/quote]

    Negativo. If I recall correctly “S.S” stands for Steam Ship and HitlerÀ‚´s SS (which does not go well).”TUPI” is a very common brand name.

    The new Sub has to be named after a very important historical figure. So you better come out with some alternative suggestions 🙂

  • jon

    the “S.S. TUPI ??

  • João da Silva

    First Latin-American Nuclear Submarine to Be Built by Brazil and Argentina
    Excellent idea and I loved it. However, I suggest that the designers watch a movie called “K-19, The Widowmaker” and ensure that the sub is built according to the international safety standards and not to repeat the mistakes of Harrison Ford and Oscar Schindler on its maiden voyage.

    Have we got a name for the sub yet?

  • forrest allen brown

    build on land first
    then too a surface vessel then a sub .

    for the worlds saftey

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