Brazil denies it plans to build nuclear submarine with Argentina
SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) - Brazil is working with Argentina to develop compact nuclear reactors to generate power _ not to build a nuclear submarine _ the Defense Ministry said Monday in denying a newspaper report.
Argentina's Clarin reported Sunday that the neighboring countries would form a binational company to build a submarine using Argentine
Clarin attributed its information to Brazilian Defense Minister, Nelson Jobim.
«A joint Brazil-Argentina project for the building of a nuclear submarine is something that is not being discussed,» said Defense Ministry spokesman Jose Ramos. «The reporter apparently misunderstood the minister.
«There are plans to create a binational company to produce compact reactors to generate energy,» he added.
In Argentina, a Defense Ministry spokesman, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said Monday the countries had agreed to coordinate efforts to produce compact nuclear reactors but had not reached agreement on building a nuclear submarine.
Brazil began a project to build a nuclear submarine in 1979 and is still working on developing the reactor to power it.
Last July, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced US$540 million (¤364 million) in new funding for the program and for existing uranium enrichment efforts.
Earlier this month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France was willing to give Brazil the technology needed to build the Scorpene conventional attack submarine
Brazil says it will use the Scorpene as a model for the development of its nuclear submarine that would be the first in Latin America.
Associated Press Writer Bill Cormier contributed to this story from Buenos Aires.