Last month, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, granted the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican). The distinction considered Ican to be a “driving force” and a leading “civil society actor” of the anti-nuclear weapon movement.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasized “unacceptable human suffering” is an important argument for the ban on nuclear weapons. The organization also highlighted other less destructive weapons such as antipersonnel mines, cluster bombs and chemical and biological weapons that have already been banned by different treaties.
Formed by a coalition of non-governmental organizations in 100 countries, Ican was launched in 2007 and advocates for adherence to and implementation of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a comprehensive global agreement adopted in New York on July 7, 2017. In September, during the UN General Assembly, President Michel Temer was the first Head of State to sign the treaty. The fact was celebrated by Ican.
During the opening speech of the As-sembly’s debate session, Temer spoke on the importance of the treaty. The president stated that its signing was a “historical moment”, and advocated for nuclear disarmament and pacification among countries.
U.S. and Brazil Hold Disarmament Dialogue
The United States and Brazil held their 6th Disarmament and Nonproliferation Dialogue in Washington, DC. on September. The meeting is one of several ongoing exchanges held by the United States and Brazil to strengthen bilateral cooperation in nuclear disarmament and arms control, export control, as well as nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons nonproliferation.
Experts from both sides met to discuss a range of disarmament and non-proliferation challenges, and to identify strategic actions to best address them. The 2017 Dialogue placed special emphasis on U.S. and Brazilian efforts to counter and condemn the illegal pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including by the DPRK and non-state actors.
Brazil’s Nuclear Capabilities
Brazil is one of the few countries to possess competencies in all major dimensions of the “nuclear fuel cycle, from mineral prospecting to uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication. Brazil has never developed nuclear weapons, and there is no evidence that it has the intention to enrich uranium above the 20% level. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, Brazil pursued an ambitious program of nuclear technology development, which included construction of an unsafeguarded uranium enrichment facility under the Navy’s direction. However, Brazil has since disavowed nuclear weapons and peaceful nuclear explosions (PNEs), and become a state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
Brazil is the only non-nuclear-weapon state with a civilian nuclear program that leases uranium enrichment technology from the state’s military. Nuclear energy accounts for approximately 3% of the country’s production of electricity, provided by two operating nuclear plants, Angra 1 and Angra 2. A third plant, Angra 3 is under construction and ex-pected to begin operation in 2018.
In the wake of the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Brazilian government created a response plan that includes increased safety inspections, checks and guidelines at the existing nuclear plants to avoid similar disasters in the country. Plans regarding construction of the new plants were re-evaluated to incorporate the increased focus on safety.
Source: BrazilGovNews and US Department of State