The defense, which is based on selective military duty
with an initial service of twelve months, comprises about
300,000 men with 225,000 men in immediate reserve. The
defense can be regarded as a regional instrument of power.
It is organized in an army of 189,000 men with 28 brigades
adapted to the different terrain conditions. The Navy
comprises 33,000 men with four submarines, one aircraft
carrier, 18 larger surface combat vessels, 50 patrol boats
and three amphibious vessels, as well as a navy corps of
15,000 men and a naval aircraft with 26 fighter aircraft and
26 submarine helicopters. Acquisition of long-range
underwater weapon systems is in progress. The Air Force
comprises 65,000 men with 320 modern combat aircraft, and in
2006 twelve French Mirage 2000-C were delivered.
Half-military security forces as well as army reserves
amount to 385,000 men. Trained reserves amount to 1.
The material is of western and indigenous origin. For a
fifteen-year period, the defense has been reduced personally
and vigorously modernized. Defense costs have increased from
0.8 to 1.6% of GDP in 1985-2005. Brazil participates in a
number of UN peacekeeping efforts, including with a brigade
in Haiti (1,200 men) and in Ivory Coast, East Timor, Liberia
and Sudan. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that BRA stands for Brazil.
Brazil's defense overview
Brazil has a general duty of military service from the
age of 18 with first-time service from 12 months to 18
months, but most recruits are exempt. The country
contributes personnel to UN operations. The total force
figures for Brazil's armed forces are 334,500 active
personnel, with a reserve of 1,340,000 personnel (2018, IISS).
In addition, 395,000 semi-military security forces are
The army has a staff of 198,000 active personnel,
including 70,000 conscripts. Materials include 393 tanks
(348 Leopard 1 and 45 M60), 50 lightweight M41 vehicles,
1153 armored personnel vehicles and 187 self-propelled
artillery, of which 34 are self-propelled artillery. In
addition, the Army has heavy artillery, short range air
defense missiles, light air defense artillery and 104
The Air Force has a workforce of 67,500 active personnel.
Material comprising 46 fighters of a F-5 Tiger II, 49
fighter central AMX, nine antiubåtfly of a P-3 Orion, 19
maritime patrol central EMB-111, eight reconnaissance six
ELINT aircraft, five AEW & C-plane, two tankers, seven
search and rescue aircraft, 198 transport aircraft, 264
training aircraft (of which 83 Super Tucano can also be used
as light attack aircraft), 90 helicopters, including 12
Mi-35 combat helicopters, and five medium- duty drones.
The Navy has a staff of 69,000 active personnel,
including 16,000 Marines. The fleet includes five tactical
submarines, two fighters, nine frigates, 44 patrol vessels,
four minesweepers, one dock landing craft, one amphibious
assault ship, 19 landing craft and 44 auxiliary vessels.
Naval Air Force has 11 attack aircraft of the type A-4
Skyhawk and 73 helicopters.
Brazil participated in the UN operation in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
in 2018 with 222 personnel and a frigate, and with observers
and a small number of personnel in the UN operations in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), in the Central
African Republic (MINUSCA), at Cyprus (UNFICYP), in Sudan (UNISFA)
and in Western Sahara (MINURSO).
Nuclear power in Brazil
Brazil has one nuclear power plant with two nuclear
reactors, which has a total net output of 1884 MWe. The
power plant contributes around three percent of the
country's electricity generation. A third reactor is under
construction, but work has so far stopped.
Electricity supply in Brazil
The country's power generation is mainly based on
hydropower, which in 2015 accounted for 360 TWh (62 per
cent) of a total power generation of 582 TWh. Production in
the country's nuclear power plants was 15 TWh (2.6 per
cent), while the contribution from fossil energy sources
such as natural gas, coal and oil was 135 TWh (23 per cent).
From other renewable energy sources, including waste,
production was 71 TWh (12 per cent). In addition, the
country had a net import of electrical energy of 34 TWh.
The consumption of electrical energy has increased
significantly in recent years. Per capita consumption was
nearly 2,400 kWh in 2015 compared to 1,500 kWh in 1990. The
national power company Eletrobas accounts for 40 per cent of
the country's power generation, while around 20 per cent is
supplied by local energy plants owned by the state. The rest
comes from private companies. Private involvement in nuclear
power is not open, but this is for consideration.
Development of the nuclear power industry in Brazil
In Brazil, the work of utilizing nuclear energy started
as early as the 1950s, and this was escalated during the
military regime from 1964 to 1985. The first nuclear power
plant, Angra 1, was commissioned in 1970 and the mission was
entirely given to Westinghouse. The power plant, which came
into operation in 1982, is located on the coast between the
cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Angra 1 was exposed
to major operating problems during the first years, with the
result that the capacity factor was only around 25 per cent.
In recent years, the operating situation has improved
significantly and the capacity factor has now reached around
90 per cent.
In 1975, the government decided that the country should
become self-sufficient with nuclear technology and entered
into an agreement with West Germany to get support to build
8 new reactors over a 15-year period. The first two reactors
(Angra 2 and 3) were to be built with equipment from
Kraftwerk Union (KWU). Using technology transfer, the
remaining power plants should be based on 90 percent
Brazilian equipment. However, financial problems in Brazil
led to this work being interrupted. Work on Angra 2 was
resumed in 1995 and this reactor came into operation in
In 2006, the government announced plans to complete Angra
3. The work started in 2010 and by the end of 2013, the
plant was about halfway completed. Following an
investigation into corruption in 2015, the agreement with
the suppliers was suspended. In March 2017, the government
announced that it wanted to sell Angra 3. Both Russian and
Chinese investors have reported their interest. The plant is
expected to be completed by 2023.
Hydropower is still the most affordable option for
establishing new production capacity in Brazil. However, the
dominant role of hydropower makes the country vulnerable to
annual variations in rainfall. For example, the drought in
2001 led to an acute shortage of power. This experience has
accelerated the development towards using other energy
sources to reduce the dependence on hydropower, although
these alternatives are more costly. Power from existing
nuclear power plants is estimated at $ 75 / MWh (øre 55 /
kWh), which is about 1.5 times more expensive than from
established hydropower plants. From the new Angra 3 power
plant, it is expected that produced power will be more than
twice as expensive as existing hydroelectric power stations,
but still comparable to coal power and less expensive than
gas power plants.
Two new nuclear power plants have been proposed, one of
which may be located northeast of the country on the river
São Francisco between the states of Pernambuco and Bahia.
The second is thought to be located southeast of the country
in the state of Minas Gerais. Construction work is unlikely
to start until after 2020.
Nuclear reactors in Brazil
|SUM (in operation)
Proposed nuclear power plant
|nuclear power plants
||4 × PWR
|Southeast (Minas Gerais)
||4 × PWR