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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

 

'I remember making three tiered graves

Image | 10 December, 2001 at 1:00

'I remember making three tiered graves. There was no option but to pile up one body on top of another. In those three to four days we must have buried more than 4,000 people' says Mohammad Aziz as he looks at the skeletons that have come out of...

Skulls discarded after research at the Hamidia

Image | 10 December, 2001 at 1:00

Skulls discarded after research at the Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal. Medical experts believe that the gas inhaled by the people of Bhopal may have affected the brain.

Toxic water from Bhopal that locals are forced

Image | 3 December, 2001 at 1:00

Toxic water from Bhopal that locals are forced to use because Dow Chemical refuses to clean up the site of the world's worst industrial disaster. The water was delivered to the European headquaters of Dow in Switzerland.

Protestors draw attention to the contrast

Image | 3 December, 2001 at 1:00

Protestors draw attention to the contrast between efforts to find Osama bin Laden and those to extradite Warren Anderson, former chief executive of Union Carbide. Anderson is evading justice in the United States and wanted for crimes in Bhopal.

Protestors draw attention to the contrast

Image | 3 December, 2001 at 1:00

Protestors draw attention to the contrast between efforts to find Osama bin Laden and those to extradite Warren Anderson, former chief executive of Union Carbide. Anderson is evading justice in the United States and wanted for crimes in Bhopal.

The suffering continues in Bhopal but not

Image | 3 December, 2001 at 1:00

The suffering continues in Bhopal but not in silence. Sunil Kumar (right) calls for justice. He was given up for dead when the disaster struck.

Protestors draw attention to the contrast

Image | 3 December, 2001 at 1:00

Protestors draw attention to the contrast between efforts to find Osama bin Laden and those to extradite Warren Anderson, former chief executive of Union Carbide. Anderson is evading justice in the United States and wanted for crimes in Bhopal.

Bhopal survivors on eve of 17th anniversary

Image | 2 December, 2001 at 1:00

Bhopal survivors on eve of 17th anniversary of the world's worst chemical disaster

Gumanilal is a familiar figure in Jayaprakash

Image | 1 December, 2001 at 1:00

Gumanilal is a familiar figure in Jayaprakash Nagar, an area opposite the Union Carbide factory. Some, like Gumanilal, received inadequate compensation after the disaster, which helped them to pay medical expenses for a short time. Others have...

Skulls of the victims of the disaster used

Image | 1 December, 2001 at 0:00

Skulls of the victims of the disaster used to investigate the effects of the gas leak on the brain

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