In 2014, Brazil had only one mine in operation, the Caetité mine, located in the State of Bahia. It has a 400tU capacity and in 2012, total production was 380tU. All of Brazil’s uranium is trucked 700km (approx. 434mi) to the port of Salvador, where it is then shipped to AREVA’s conversion facility in France for conversion into UF6 and then enriched at Urenco’s facilities in the Netherlands before returning to Brazil and the Resende Nuclear Fuel Factory for fabrication into fuel elements.
None of Brazil’s uranium is exported abroad. It is all returned to Brazil for fueling domestic nuclear reactors. All nuclear material is under the control of the Brazil Nuclear Energy Commission (Comissão Nacional de Energia Nuclear, CNEN) with the state-owned nuclear industrial company Brazilian Nuclear Industries Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil S.A. (INB) carrying out nuclear activities, from mining to the production of fuel that powers Brazil’s nuclear power plants. INB must submit a plan for each transport in advance to CNEN for approval before any movement of nuclear material. INB also seals the drums and containers. A secure convoy then accompanies the trucks from Caetité to Salvador, which includes federal, regional and road police.