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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

 

Chernobyl and Fukushima: side by side

Blog entry by Rashid Alimov | 9 March, 2016 5 comments

30 years after Chernobyl and 5 years after Fukushima, the towns ruined forever by nuclear. A crucifix at the entrance of Pripyat. The town is now a guarded area and entry is via checkpoint. The crucifix is a homage to those who...

Nuclear Scars

Publication | 9 March, 2016 at 7:00

It is 30 years since the beginning of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It is also five years since the Fukushima disaster began. To mark these anniversaries, Greenpeace has commissioned substantial reviews of scientific studies examining the...

7 incredible projects that could save Japan from another nuclear disaster

Blog entry by Ai Kashiwagi | 9 March, 2016 2 comments

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster exposed the myth of safe and cheap nuclear power. It's no wonder those most impacted are choosing 100% renewable energy. About a year after Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster, Fukushima Prefecture...

International Women's Day: The stories I will tell my daughter

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 7 March, 2016 1 comment

As women we hear and tell many stories. We carry these stories with us – ones that happened to us, to our mothers, sisters, friends. My mother-in-law told me a story. She grew up in a small village in southeast Turkey. None of her...

Adorable Japanese couple devastated by Fukushima turn lives around with solar

Blog entry by Ai Kashiwagi | 26 February, 2016

For the past 30 years, Shin and Tatsuko Okawara spent their lives working as organic farmers. With their own organic farm, rural work was in their blood - tilling, planting and harvesting crops from the same soil their family worked on...

Five years on and the Fukushima crisis is far from over

Blog entry by Shaun Burnie | 24 February, 2016 8 comments

Five years ago the Rainbow Warrior sailed along the Fukushima coast conducting radiation sampling. Now it's back, and has Japan's ex-Prime Minister on board. Greenpeace Ship Rainbow Warrior Sailing past the destroyed Fukushima...

Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 21 December, 2015 16 comments

Dear Friends,  As I look out my window here in Amsterdam, winter is nearly here, and with it comes the retreat of another year, and the passing of what has been to make way for the spring and the new. As the days get shorter and the...

2015: A Year in Pictures

Slideshow | 21 December, 2015

Japan’s nuclear watchdog isn’t policing its own safety standards

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 14 December, 2015

A watchdog that isn’t watching is no watchdog at all. It emerged last week that Japan’s nuclear watchdog, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is failing to conduct adequate safety checks at the country’s nuclear reactors.

Town mayor's approval of Takahama reactor restarts is premature and inadequate

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich | 7 December, 2015 1 comment

The decision by Takahama Town's mayor ignores the Japanese people's constitutionally protected right to human dignity. In making his decision to approve the restart of the Takahama 3 and 4 reactors, Mayor Yukata Nose has...

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