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A frightened villager brings the lid of a barrel that contained uranium oxide (yellowcake) taken from the Tuwaitha nuclear facility, that was left unsecured by occupying forces after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The family used this radioactive barrel to store water and are complaining of rashes and skin problems.

Say no to war

Greenpeace is opposed to war, and we don't believe war is the answer to ridding the world of Weapons of Mass Destruction. That's one of the reasons why we took particular issue with the war on Iraq. We joined with people all over the world in months of global action to promote a non-violent solution to the conflict in Iraq.

We believedthe war was more about oil than about effectively dealing with weaponsof mass destruction. It would result in devastating human andenvironmental consequences, and set a dangerous (not to mentionillegal)precedent.

Though the occupyingforces were quick to secure Iraqi oil fields, they neglected tosafeguard dangerous nuclear material. Now that material has made itsway to homes and schools. Weapons of mass destruction, the alleged reason for the war in the first place, were never found.

Uranium and other nuclear material stored under UN control in Iraquntil the fall of Saddam Hussein have been stolen and local residentsare reportedly displaying symptoms of radiation poisoning. Six weeksafter the occupying forces took control of the country, the US finallyconceded that the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic EnergyAgency (IAEA), could return to assess what has been stolen at part ofone site, Tuwaitha. Yet the IAEA has been refused access to the nearbypopulation or to other sites it wants to visit, in contravention of UNresolutions.

We went to Iraq in June 2003 with a small, specialist teamto examine the local environment and to assess the extent of anynuclear contamination. The team took samples of soil and water forlaboratory analysis and conducted on-site monitoring with specialistradiation detection equipment. While the extent of the Greenpeaceradiological survey will not be comprehensive, it will provide someidea of the true level of risk to the people of the area and to theenvironment.

We are calling for a full assessment of the situation at Tuwaitha and other nuclear sites in Iraq:

  • Theoccupying powers must allow the IAEA to remain in Iraq with anunrestricted mandate to test as well as document all nuclear sites.
  • Theoccupying powers must allow the IAEA to oversee an urgent medical andenvironmental assessment of the impact of the radioactive material thathas spread in the local community - a practice that would be standardin any other country and circumstance.
  • A hunt for all the industrial radioactive isotopes in Iraq must be conducted urgently - these are all potential dirty bombs.

The latest updates

 

Chernobyl: lessons not learned

Blog entry by Rashid Alimov | 25 April, 2017

A greyish brick building with a bust of Lenin in front of it. A school in Stariye Bobovichi in the Bryansk region of Russia. There could be something nostalgic about this picture, were it not for the feeling of danger it gives. When...

Priorities? Global military spending just hit US$1.6 trillion

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 25 April, 2017

Military spending worldwide is going up. 2016 has seen governments around the world spend US$1.686 trillion on their militaries according to a new repor t from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Spending...

Oh Gaia! I’m a Taoist!

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 7 April, 2017 12 comments

I am teaching a Chinese history class for local students, introducing them to Taoist literature —  Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi, Taiping jing  — and I realized: I’m a Taoist at heart. In my twenties, I learned many of my fundamental beliefs...

This treaty would ban nuclear weapons. But will the world take it?

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 31 March, 2017

“I’m here at the U.N. asking for an abolition of nuclear weapons,” said Toshiki Fujimori, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, to diplomats from more than 120 countries gathered at the UN general assembly on 27 March. ...

Biological Restoration of water and land

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 10 March, 2017

According to the 2015 World Economic Forum Global Risks 2015 Report, the water crisis is the world’s #1 risk. The problem is not only the amount of water available in the world’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers, but the pollution of...

They want you to think the Fukushima nuclear disaster is over. But it’s still with us.

Blog entry by Yuko Yoneda | 10 March, 2017

Six years ago, over 15,000 people perished and tens of thousands of people's lives changed forever. Northeastern Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, followed by an enormous tsunami that wiped out coastal towns one after another.

Fukushima nuclear disaster and the violation of women’s & children’s human rights

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich | 7 March, 2017

The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe may feel like ancient history in world constantly bombarded with news of the another tragedy or disaster. But for those who were impacted by the worst nuclear disaster in a generation, the...

Trump ignores climate risk in military focus

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 2 March, 2017

“We got to start winning,” Trump said on Tuesday.  “We got to start winning wars again.” What he was proposing was to win by increasing military spending in the US by 9%, adding a staggering $54 billion to the Pentagon’s budget...

Time for Europe to stand up for peace - and renewables

Blog entry by Jennifer Morgan | 17 February, 2017 2 comments

Every year, the Munich Security Conference brings together the most senior decision-makers to debate critical issues in international security. This year, I will join them. And while I am sure I will disagree with most of the...

Where is the hope?

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 30 November, 2016 2 comments

I’m not sure we can win with logic.  How do we reverse species loss, climate change, toxins, general overshoot of Earth’s generous habitats? We have the science, but humanity at the large scale does not appear to have the political...

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