This is coolbert:
From the Chicago Tribune:
"Nuke sub planned to guard coastal oil"
"RIO DE JANEIRO - - Brazil will spend $160 million by the end of the next year on the development of a nuclear- propelled submarine to protect the oil reserves found in recently off its coast, the defense minister said Friday."
"The vessel - - which officials hope is complete by 2020 - - would be the first nuclear-propelled submarine in Latin America. Brazil does not have nuclear weapons."
This is a response to the recent discovery - - of a large oil field, in pelagic water [deep waters] off the coast of Brazil. The Tupi field.
"Oil discovery rocks Brazil "
"The Tupi field lies under 2,140 meters (7,060 feet) of water . . . 286 kilometers (177 miles) south of Rio de Janeiro."
Brazil is now an oil-exporting nation! And will be more so in the future. This discovery is of significance!
Brazil does desire to protect this oil field, and will do so with naval assets.
But it is unreasonable to think that a nuclear "boomer" attack submarine is the answer. Nuclear attack submarines as fielded by the U.S. and Russia are designed for OFFENSIVE action far from home, in deep waters, fast moving subs with long range, capable of deep-diving operations. Carrying nuclear weapons, again, for offensive action, NOT for patrol and defense!
More reasonable to use one of the latest air-independent-propulsion [AIP] submarines that have recently become so popular. Submarines of the Gotland class, for instance. Submarines the basic mission would be for patrol and DEFENSIVE action, if and when needed.
The development of a nuclear powered submarine is going to take some time. And will be expensive in a variety of ways. A number of them will be needed for a protection and patrol mission to be effective. One nuke "boomer" will just not suffice.
Those nukes require a lot of maintenance, the processing and storage of fuel rods for the reactor core being a big headache. Better to go with a NUMBER of AIP subs, all equipped with the latest version torpedoes and cruise missiles, and you are ready! More subs added to the inventory quicker and cheaper with a lot less cost in the long run.
President Da Silva [Lula] and the Brazilian military also have intentions directed toward Antarctic waters as well? Brazil, surprisingly, does have claims upon the southernmost continent, as strange and absurd as that may seem to some.
For Brazil - - submarine yes - - NUKE NO!!