This page has been archived, and may no longer be up to date

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

 

Marshall Islands takes on the nuclear-armed states, for all our sakes

Blog entry by Daniel Simons and Jen Maman | 19 November, 2014 1 comment

“The day the sun rose twice”. That's how 1 March 1954 was recorded in the history of Rongelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Marshall Islands. Early that morning, shortly after the sun rose in the east, a second sun...

Japanese Governor Ito ignores lessons of Fukushima to approve the Sendai reactor restarts

Blog entry by Shaun Burnie | 7 November, 2014 3 comments

Governor Ito of Kagoshima, today bent to the will of the nuclear industry in granting approval for the highly contentious restart of the two Sendai nuclear reactors. In an effort to avoid full responsibility for the decision he was...

Learning the tragic lesson of Fukushima: No nuclear restart at Sendai

Blog entry by Jan Vande Putte | 31 October, 2014 20 comments

In March 2011, Japan suffered the worst nuclear catastrophe in a generation, with triple reactor core meltdowns and exploded containment buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The catastrophe was a stern warning...

Month In Pictures - October

Slideshow | 31 October, 2014

Lockheed Martin’s compact nuclear reactor? Yet more fusion fantasy!

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 24 October, 2014 17 comments

Clean, abundant, sustainable and commercially viable energy from nuclear fusion is the stuff of science fiction. Lockheed Martin's announcement this week that it plans to produce a fusion reactor that will fit on the back of a truck in...

ROSATOM – the risks of nuclear politics

Blog entry by Jan Haverkamp | 21 October, 2014

The Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, is aggressively pursuing export contracts throughout the world – pledging to offer an ideal all-inclusive solution to the huge problems and risks associated with nuclear reactors Even...

Airpocalypse hits Beijing... and breaks devastating new record

Blog entry by Zhang Kai | 10 October, 2014 9 comments

Usually it's only locals that have to suffer through Beijing's notorious air pollution. But as records in air quality are smashed, celebrities and sport stars in town this week are forced to power through as well. Mariah Carey, top...

The European Commission’s nuclear decision threatens our clean energy future

Blog entry by Jan Haverkamp | 9 October, 2014 2 comments

Yesterday's authorisation by the European Commission of massive subsidies for the UK's Hinkley Point C nuclear project is an enormous set-back for the country's development of a sustainable and clean energy future. Not only that, it...

Month In Pictures - September

Slideshow | 4 October, 2014

World Peace Day 2014: Working towards true (energy) security

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 21 September, 2014

As the world marches to stop climate change we must also remember that the 21st of September marks the International Day of Peace. With millions suffering around the world, in internal or interstate violence, this has not been a good...

1 - 10 of 1293 results.