During Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, the government clandestinely pursued a nuclear weapons program. In 1981, Brazil and Iraq signed a nuclear cooperation agreement that led the government to ship 26.7 tons of uranium dioxide to Baghdad. In 1989, the former head of Brazil’s nuclear weapons program worked in Iraq as a consultant.
With the return of democratic rule, Brazil and its rival Argentina jointly renounced the manufacture of nuclear weapons. But, the Brazilian program continued secretly, and when a new government came to power in 1990, it found and destroyed a 1,050-foot-deep shaft built by the Air Force in the heart of the Amazon that had all of the characteristics of a nuclear test site.
The Brazilian Navy has long been working on a program to build nuclear-powered submarines.