Brazil has the necessary knowledge to build an atomic bomb according to an article in Sunday’s edition of Jornal do Brazil. The statement is based on a doctoral thesis presented recently at the Military Institute of Engineering IME.
There has been no official comment on the news but the United Nations International Atomic Energy, IAEA, has expressed an interest in the publication, according to the Brazilian press.
In the thesis “Numerical simulation of thermonuclear detonations in fusion-fission hybrid environments operated with radiation”, physicist Dalton Barroso interprets physics and mathematical models of the W-87 warhead developed by the United States.
Part of the thesis was recently published in Brazil in a book with several contributions, “Physics of nuclear explosions”, although the hard core of the academic work remains in the dark well protected by IME, according to Jornal do Brasil.
A Brazilian Foreign Ministry spokesman quoted by Agence France Presse said that there was “no secret” around this thesis, as it has “apparently already been published in a book”. But Brazil is a signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and it respects the agreement” he said
According to Jornal do Brasil the publication of the book last April triggered the interest of the IAEA, which allegedly requested additional information about the book to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence
Apparently IAEA concluded that the models described in the academic thesis and the book could have been practiced in a lab and this would supports suspicions that Brazil has been advancing investigations on how to build a nuclear bomb.
In July 2007, President Lula da Silva announced the revival of the nuclear program in Brazil, with the completion of its first submarine nuclear propulsion and recovery, after twenty years of interruption, the construction of its third plant.
However last week in a long interview with France Press, President Lula da Silva recalled that Brazil “is the only country in the world which specifically bans nuclear weapons in its Constitution, so it’s not the will of the president, it’s in the Constitution”.
On Monday Independence Day, Lula da Silva will be hosting his French counterpart, Nicholas Sarkozy and will be signing a 9 billion US dollars military cooperation agreement with Paris that includes among other things, Brazil’s first nuclear submersible and four conventional ones.