The 21st Plenary Meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was closed today in Noordwijk, Netherlands. The NSG is a forum to promote the coordination of national policies of the 46 member States on the control of the transfer of sensitive material and technology in the nuclear field for exclusively peaceful purposes.
In addition to reviewing the main events and challenges pertaining to the international regime of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, centered on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the NSG countries agreed to review their common guidelines to control the transfer of uranium enrichment technologies and the reprocessing of nuclear fuel.
After over 6 years of negotiations within the NSG, the new guidelines determine that only the countries that meet the highest standards of nuclear physical protection, safety and safeguards will have unimpeded access to those sensitive technologies.
The decision is especially important to Brazil since the NSG has recognized the Quadripartite Agreement signed between Brazil, Argentina, the Brazilian-Argentinean Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an alternative criterion to the Addition Protocol to the IEAE safeguard agreements.
In addition to highlighting the political meaning of the Quadripartite Agreement – which celebrates its 20-year anniversary this year – as a model for rapprochement and trust-building between Brazil and Argentina in the field of exclusively peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the NSG decision opens new perspectives for international cooperation and greater access to relevant technologies for the Brazilian nuclear program.
Brazil’s commitment to the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy is set down on the 1988 Constitution and is strengthened by our participation in the main international agreements and forums related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, among which, in the regional context, is the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which turned Latin America and the Caribbean into the first, densely-populated Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone.