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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


Maize field grown in one of the 15 communities

Image | 1 September, 2001 at 1:00

Maize field grown in one of the 15 communities known to be contaminated by genetic pollution spread over 3 states of Mexico.

Greenpeace, Stop Star Wars and the Bush administration

Publication | 1 August, 2001 at 0:00

Since George W. Bush became President of the United States in January there has been an enormousescalation of the Star Wars programme, both politically and financially. Greenpeace has been at the forefront of opposition to Star Wars, a system...

Never again

Image | 30 July, 2001 at 0:00

Never again - Hiroshima/Nagasaki. Artist Bernard McLeod makes a drawing using charcoal dust on an ice floe off the coast of Greenland near Thule Air Force Base.

The Star Wars family - what is Bush planning?

Publication | 21 July, 2001 at 0:00

Greenpeace Briefing

Ballistic Missiles: Assessing the Threat Assessments

Publication | 20 June, 2001 at 0:00

How significant is the threat from so-called rogue states, and is missile defence the best approach to dealing with proliferation of weapons of mass destruction?

Nuclear weapons policy under President Bush

Publication | 1 June, 2001 at 0:00

Greenpeace International Briefing

The Bush doctrine: new nuclear weapons for a new nuclear arms race

Publication | 1 June, 2001 at 0:00

Greenpeace briefing

Stop Star Wars - Quotes of note

Publication | 19 May, 2001 at 0:00

Star wars is likely lead to a new arms race, make the US more aggressive in its foreign policy and create new targets for attack, including the UK.

Greenpeace climbers unfurl a banner on the

Image | 16 May, 2001 at 1:00

Greenpeace climbers unfurl a banner on the smoke stack of the Cementa cement factory

Zoom on Doom: The Greenpeace map of known

Image | 28 April, 2001 at 1:00

Zoom on Doom: The Greenpeace map of known nuclear weapons sites

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