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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

 

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for 13 August to 15 August 2013

Blog entry by Christine McCann | 16 August, 2013 6 comments

State of the Fukushima Reactors TEPCO and the United States Department of Energy (DOE) are reportedly discussing the feasibility of entombing the Fukushima reactors in concrete for a period of 75 years, which would allow the...

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for 9 August to 12 August 2013

Blog entry by Christine McCann | 13 August, 2013 4 comments

State of the Fukushima Reactors In an effort to deal with its ongoing water crisis, TEPCO began to pump up contaminated groundwater from a new well at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant at the end of last week, in order to reduce...

7 things you missed from Kumi Naidoo’s AMA on Reddit

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 12 August, 2013

Ask me anything, as Reddit arranges is a risky proposition, one that I relished, but that also made me a little nervous. Smart, funny and incisive questions came in fast and furious. It was a struggle to keep up. I did my best and...

Time for Japan to take control of the Fukushima disaster

Blog entry by Aslihan Tumer | 7 August, 2013 10 comments

For more than two years we have watched how the Fukushima nuclear plant operator TEPCO has failed to take control of the disaster or be transparent about the real situation at the stricken plant, trying to hide problems such as leaking...

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for August 2nd to August 5th, 2013

Blog entry by Christine McCann | 7 August, 2013 5 comments

Here’s the latest of our news bulletins from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.   State of the Fukushima Reactors In response to worsening news about the radioactive water crisis in...

Fukushima clean up costs hit $58 billion

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 2 August, 2013 1 comment

...or 5.81 trillion yen. That's five times more than first estimated and the Japanese government has so far only allocated one trillion yen. These rocketing costs are unlikely to stop there. This figure doesn't even include the...

Fukushima crisis rolls on as TEPCO admits radiation leaks

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 24 July, 2013 7 comments

TEPCO, the owner of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, has admitted that the damaged reactors are leaking highly toxic radioactive contamination into the Pacific Ocean – confirming what many of us had feared for some time.

The nuclear industry is back at the EU with its begging bowl once again

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 19 July, 2013

The nuclear industry has had 60 years to come up with a way of financing itself. In that time it has failed utterly to do so. Decade after decade it has had to rely on taxpayers and government subsidies to build its reactors. It's...

Greenpeace's Shard ascent reminds us of the power of civil disobedience

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 18 July, 2013 3 comments

Article originally published in the Guardian. Does it all seem too hard? Does it feel like governments and corporations will always get away with it in the end? Do you ask yourself what one person alone can do? Greenpeace is part...

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