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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

 

Born on the day the toxic gas swept across

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Born on the day the toxic gas swept across the city, this girl was named Gas Devi - 'gas goddess' - by her parents.

Foetuses which were aborted by pregnant women

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

Fetuses which were aborted by pregnant women escaping from the gas, or shortly after the gas leak, were preserved at the state government's Hamidia Hospital, to establish the cause of death.

This couple have spent almost everything

Image | 1 April, 2002 at 1:00

This couple have spent almost everything they have on medical treatment since being exposed to the gas. When doctors advised Leela Devi that an abdominal operation was essential for saving her life, they had to borrow money from their neighbours.

The Greenpeace Earth Summit website.

Image | 15 March, 2002 at 1:00

The Greenpeace Earth Summit website.

Buenos Aires has become the first city in South America to ban the toxic menace of...

Feature story | 21 February, 2002 at 0:00

Buenos Aires has become the first city in South America to ban the toxic menace of medical waste incineration.

Nuclear containers in Danenberg being prepared

Image | 5 February, 2002 at 1:00

Nuclear containers in Danenberg being prepared for transport waste from Gorleben, Germany.

Workers lacking any protective clothing or

Image | 1 February, 2002 at 0:00

Workers lacking any protective clothing or safety training are used to scrap old ships to generate large profits for the shipping industry at the cost of human rights and the environment.

An international Greenpeace action to remove harmful pesticides has been successfully...

Feature story | 21 January, 2002 at 0:00

An international Greenpeace action to remove harmful pesticides has been successfully completed in Nepal.

Obsolete pesticide dumped in Nepal being

Image | 15 January, 2002 at 1:00

Obsolete pesticide dumped in Nepal being cleaned up by Greenpeace activists.

Star Wars 17 walking into court in downtown

Image | 8 January, 2002 at 0:00

Star Wars 17 walking into court in downtown Los Angeles.

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