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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

 

The thin ice under nuclear regulatory independence

Blog entry by Jan Haverkamp | 19 December, 2013 2 comments

In this space I have written before about the importance of nuclear regulatory agencies being fully independent. Fukushima showed that a lack of independence leads to complacency and that complacency adds to the complexity of nuclear...

Permanent crisis at Fukushima

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 10 December, 2013 18 comments

Hundreds of tons of radioactively contaminated water leak from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors every day. That water has to go somewhere and the operator of the plant is running out of places to store it. So the suggestion has...

All the king's horses and all the king's men can't put trust in TEPCO back together again

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 15 November, 2013 19 comments

Is TEPCO, the hapless operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, even remotely interested in trying to repair its shattered reputation? After another cover-up was revealed at the plant this week, we doubt it. ...

Cynical US's hidden agenda in offer to help Japan with Fukushima 

Blog entry by Dr. Rianne Teule | 5 November, 2013 6 comments

The US has “kindly offered” to help Japan with the decommissioning of the Fukushima reactors and the problems with the ongoing leakages of radioactively contaminated water. Is the US being the good Samaritan? Unfortunately not.

The UK’s new nuclear reactors: too expensive and not needed

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 21 October, 2013 20 comments

Today the UK government announced the go ahead for two new nuclear reactors to be built at the Hinkley Point power plant in Somerset, in the country's south west . It's very big news - the UK has not built a nuclear reactor in 20 years...

Photo essay: Tamura, Japan the terrible dilemma for residents

Blog entry by Brian Blomme | 10 October, 2013 3 comments

The residents of the Tamura City region of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan are facing a dilemma. They could move back once the government lifts the evacuation order following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. However, this means moving...

Fukushima’s hidden impacts

Blog entry by Dr. Rianne Teule | 10 October, 2013 3 comments

I’m back in the radioactively contaminated areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, for the 4 th time since the nuclear disaster in March 2011. Once again it’s surreal. I’ve measured radiation levels that are...

The man who showed us all the true threat in the Arctic

Blog entry by John Novis, Head of Photography, Greenpeace Int'l | 27 September, 2013 10 comments

A photo is key when it comes to bearing witness and Greenpeace has been a leading organization in visuals for over forty years. We go to the frontline of environmental issues to see for ourselves what is happening so that we can show...

Apple wins U.S. EPA award for helping to lead the clean energy revolution in North...

Blog entry by David Pomerantz | 25 September, 2013

Apple won a Green Power Leadership award today from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its use of renewable energy to power its business, especially its data center in North Carolina, the building where Apple stores your...

The Nuclear Sisyphus needs to stop pushing his boulder

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 25 September, 2013 15 comments

Greek myth tells of the proud and arrogant king Sisyphus who, after trying to cheat death, was forced by the Gods to roll a giant boulder up a hill. When he reached the top of the hill, the boulder would roll back to the bottom and...

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