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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

 

Convention on Supplementary Compensation on Nuclear Safety does not protect you

Blog entry by Hozefa Merchant | 15 April, 2015 11 comments

The Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) is an international nuclear liability regime governed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The convention, signed in 1997, but so far not in force for lack of interest,...

Military spending: $1.8 trillion spent on the WRONG things

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 13 April, 2015 5 comments

I watched a short documentary last week about a young boy in Uganda named Locheng, who dreams of learning how to read and write ( watch it if you can, it's only 12 minutes but is very powerful). Primary school in his village costs the...

Nuclear reactors and blackouts: An explosive mix that caused the Fukushima disaster

Blog entry by Jan Beranek | 6 April, 2015 6 comments

Turkey has just suffered a massive failure of its electricity grid. A long-lasting blackout spread over more than half of the country, leaving the capital Ankara and many large cities in the dark. It may take a while to investigate...

The strong arm of the Grrrowd

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 26 March, 2015 10 comments

Grrrowd is a powerful new model for crowdfunding legal cases involving human and environmental rights. It's the Kickstarter of class action suits, the Indiegogo of good cases for good causes. It's the place where a poor Mexican...

A lesson from Fukushima: A safe, clean energy future will be nuclear-free

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich | 11 March, 2015 16 comments

Today, the 11th of March 2015, marks the fourth year since beginning of one of the world's worst nuclear disasters: the triple reactor core meltdowns and catastrophic containment building failures at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power...

TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Disaster: Four years of an ongoing nuclear crisis

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich | 10 March, 2015 5 comments

Tomorrow, March 11th 2015, is a somber anniversary for the people of Japan: four years since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, sparking a tsunami, claiming tens of thousands of lives, and beginning the worst nuclear disaster in a...

Where were you when Fukushima happened?

Blog entry by Hisayo Takada | 9 March, 2015 4 comments

Four years ago the world watched in horror as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants exploded across our TV screens and spewed radioactive waste into air and sea. In commemoration of this anniversary, we asked Greenpeace volunteers...

Thousands of cracks in Belgian reactors, potentially a global nuclear problem

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich and Eloi Glorieux | 17 February, 2015 9 comments

Picture a 33 year-old asphalt road: weathered with time, bearing the cracks and crags of decades of harmless-seeming water trickling into its crevices, freezing, expanding, breaking up the road from within. Most people wouldn’t want...

Are limits to growth real?

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 17 January, 2015 3 comments

In 2002, global warming denialist and anti-environmental gadfly Bjørn Lomborg consigned the 1972 book, The Limits to Growth, to "the dustbin of history." However, 42 years of data now appear to vindicate the book’s premise, that the...

Belgium’s government is Electrabel’s slave

Blog entry by Rianne Teule | 22 December, 2014 6 comments

The Belgian government is kept on a leash by Electrabel. On Friday 19 December, the federal government decided to extend the lifetime of nuclear reactors Doel 1 and 2 by ten years. Only one party benefits from this decision:...

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