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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

 

Uranium mining stopped in Australian national park

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 26 March, 2013

Wherever uranium miners move in to do what they do, human rights have a tendency to move out. That’s why the victory of Jeffrey Lee, who has secured protection for his land from uranium mining at Koongarra in Australia , sends a...

Coming together to stop nuclear weapons

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 20 March, 2013

Earlier this month, more then 130 governments, UN agencies and the global Red Cross Movement met in Oslo at the invitation of the Norwegian government, to discuss the humanitarian, environmental and developmental consequences of...

Nuclear talk is cheap, nuclear power is not

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 15 March, 2013 12 comments

When it comes to keeping promises, the nuclear industry and its supporters are very good at talking the talk but very bad at walking the walk. The industry’s excited talk about a nuclear “renaissance” where a thousand new nuclear...

Fukushima Remembered

Slideshow | 12 March, 2013

Fukushima disaster: holding the nuclear industry liable

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 12 March, 2013

Article originally published in the Guardian. The social aftershocks and radiation fears from the tragic tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster that rocked Japan two years ago today continue to wreak havoc. Adding insult to...

A personal reflection on Fukushima, from a Greenpeace radiation expert

Blog entry by Rianne Teule | 12 March, 2013 5 comments

I remember the oppressive feeling around my heart when the first news came about the earthquake and tsunami that hit the Japan coast, including several nuclear power plants, on 11 March 2011. Half a day later it was clear that this...

Hope from Fukushima

Blog entry by Junichi Sato, ED Greenpeace Japan | 11 March, 2013 6 comments

As we mark the second memorial of the March 11, 2011 triple disaster, we see tragedy, but also hope in Japan. While people mourn for the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and children that were lost in the earthquake and...

They profit, you pay – the shocking nuclear reality

Blog entry by Aaron Gray-Block | 7 March, 2013 3 comments

On three continents, in three times zones, the message was the same: nuclear operators and their suppliers should be held fully responsible for a nuclear disaster. The activities started in Japan, where Greenpeace activists...

Fukushima Protests

Slideshow | 7 March, 2013

General Electric, Toshiba & Hitachi hide from their responsibilities in Fukushima

Blog entry by Hisayo Takada | 5 March, 2013 5 comments

At 2:46pm, 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit north east Japan, triggering three meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Since then, an unthinkable amount of radioactive contamination has been...

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