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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

 

Greenpeace activists today scaled a chimney

Image | 25 April, 2001 at 1:00

Greenpeace activists today scaled a chimney at a sewage incineration plant to highlight toxic emmissions

Paul Barrett will sail this 48

Image | 1 April, 2001 at 1:00

Paul Barrett will sail this 48-foot Endurance staysail ketch, the Tuscair, from Ireland in protest against the shipment of plutonium fuel through the Irish sea by British Nuclear Fuels.

US National Missile Defense System and the Thule air force base in Greenland

Publication | 20 March, 2001 at 0:00

Public and governmental doubts in Denmark and Greenland over Greenland's place in US Star Wars plans.

Five reasons to oppose a Star Wars missile plan

Publication | 18 March, 2001 at 0:00

Media briefing

Unilever agrees to clean up its toxic mercury

Image | 7 March, 2001 at 1:00

Unilever agrees to clean up its toxic mercury mess in south India.

What is Star Wars?

Publication | 13 February, 2001 at 0:00

Media Briefing

Action against toxic dioxin emmissions from

Image | 21 January, 2001 at 0:00

Action against toxic dioxin emmissions from a polluting incinerator.

Greenpeace: 30 years campaigning

Publication | 20 January, 2001 at 0:00

Greenpeace’s campaign to stop a Star Wars missile system evolves from a thirty-year historycampaigning for nuclear disarmament - From Amchitka to Kwajalein

Workers at Alang shipbreaking yard.

Image | 9 January, 2001 at 1:00

Workers at Alang shipbreaking yard.

Girl on trampoline in her garden overlooked

Image | 1 January, 2001 at 1:00

Girl on trampoline in her garden overlooked by a huge chemicals plant. The plant is part of an infamous area of large concentrations of chemical plants in Louisiana known as 'cancer alley' due to the high levels of cancer suffered by residents.

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