Brazil is considering joining the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), a specialized agency within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which could serve as a stepping stone to joining the rich-nations club, its head said.
NEA director general William Magwood said the membership of the agency, which groups 33 countries with 85% of the world’s nuclear power capacity, is straightforward and based on mutual interest in sharing state-of-the-art nuclear technology.
“Membership can happen very quickly and that means it is a very practical stepping stone toward OECD membership,” Magwood said in an interview. He said South Korea used that path in the 1970s and, more recently, Argentina joined the agency in 2017 with the intention that it would help its pending bid for OECD membership.
“They are certainly talking about it, it is something the Brazilian government is looking at,” Magwood said at the end of a visit to Brazil during which he visited the country’s unfinished Angra 3 reactor.
Brazil had expected to join the OECD quickly with the backing that U.S. President Donald Trump offered President Jair Bolsonaro in March, but in October Trump said Argentina had U.S. endorsement to join first, dashing Brazil’s hopes. Membership of the NEA largely overlaps with the OECD, except for three exceptions: Russia, Romania and Argentina.