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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.

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The sarcophagus around the Chernobyl reactor

Image | 1 December, 1995 at 1:00

The sarcophagus around the Chernobyl reactor.

The deserted city of Pripyat

Image | 1 December, 1995 at 0:00

The deserted city of Pripyat. Pripyat was home to the workers of Chernobyl and their families (approximately 50 000 people). It's now a nuclear ghost town. The Chernobyl nuclear power station is visible in background.

Evacuated kindergarten in deserted city of

Image | 1 October, 1995 at 1:00

Evacuated kindergarten in deserted city of Pripyat, a few kilometres from Chernobyl nuclear power station.

Demonstrators attempt to deliver millions

Image | 1 September, 1995 at 1:00

Demonstrators attempt to deliver millions of signatures against French nuclear testing at Moruroa to President Jacqes Chirac in Paris

The Rainbow Warrior under arrest inside the

Image | 1 September, 1995 at 0:00

The Rainbow Warrior under arrest inside the 12 mile exclusion zone around the nuclear test site at Moruroa. The Warrior had been stormed and seized by French commandos as it entered the exclusion zone during an action to disrupt an imminent...

Greenpeace confiscated 140 hooks from a pirate

Image | 14 July, 1995 at 1:00

Greenpeace confiscated 140 hooks from a pirate longliner in protest against overfishing.

A French vessel rammed the Greenpeace vessel

Image | 9 July, 1995 at 0:00

A French vessel rammed the Greenpeace vessel RAINBOW WARRIOR II and French commandos stormed on board, smashing windows on the bridge and throwing tear gas canisters. The RAINBOW WARRIOR had entered the 12 mile exclusion zone around Moruroa atoll...

French Nuclear Testing Tour

Image | 23 June, 1995 at 13:57

More than 1500 people, nearly one quarter of Rarotonga's 8000 population, marched against French nuclear testing from the RAINBOW WARRIOR II to the town centre. The RAINBOW WARRIOR II was visiting the Cook Islands en route to the French nuclear...

One of 1500 demonstrators

Image | 23 June, 1995 at 0:00

One of 1500 demonstrators, a quarter of the population of Raratonga, who turned out to protest French nuclear testing in 1995.

RAINBOW WARRIOR II en route to Moruroa atoll

Image | 20 June, 1995 at 1:00

RAINBOW WARRIOR II en route to Moruroa atoll to protest against French nuclear testing.

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