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Brazil Shielding Uranium Facility

Nation Seeks to Keep Its Proprietary Data From U.N. Inspectors. The Brazilian government has refused to allow U.N. nuclear inspectors to examine a facility for enriching uranium under construction near Rio de Janeiro, according to Brazilian officials and diplomats in Vienna, home of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA and Brazil are at an impasse over the inspections, the diplomats said. Brazil maintains that the facility will produce low-enriched uranium for use in power plants, not the highly enriched material used in nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, Brazil refuses to let IAEA inspectors see equipment in the plant, citing a need to protect proprietary information. The diplomatic standoff plays into fears that a new type of nuclear race is underway, marked not by the bold pursuit of atomic weapons but by the quiet and lawful development of sophisticated technology for nuclear energy production, which can be quickly converted into a weapons program. Full Story

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