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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: we must not forget!

Blog entry by Dr. Rianne Teule | 11 March, 2014 9 comments

“Forgetting Fukushima makes it more likely that such a nuclear disaster could happen elsewhere,” said Mrs Tatsuko Okawara, one of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Fukushima accident that began on 11 March 2011. Though...

Old nuclear reactors can't save the climate

Blog entry by Isadora Wronski | 6 March, 2014 11 comments

Yesterday, 240 Greenpeace activists from national and regional offices took action across Europe to highlight the risk of ageing nuclear reactors.   80 activists staged a decommissioning of the Tihange reactor in Belgium. A...

Ageing nuclear reactors – risky stumbling block for Europe's energy transition

Blog entry by Jan Haverkamp | 5 March, 2014 14 comments

Why the 'right to decide on the national energy mix' doesn't help national mix issues in reality, or why European leaders should support ambitious and binding EU wide and national targets for renewables and efficiency. Too...

Civil Disobedience: Why direct action is necessary

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 27 February, 2014 4 comments

On Monday, February 24, Greenpeace International's Executive Director Kumi Naidoo presented a lecture at the Oxford Martin School in the UK on civil disobedience. History shows us that civil disobedience is often necessary when the...

Japan still doesn't get it: it is time to go nuclear free for good

Blog entry by Brian Blomme | 27 February, 2014 5 comments

Japan has released a first draft of a new energy policy that surprisingly, given the Fukushima disaster, still sees a future for nuclear in the country's energy mix. The plan also calls for an increase in renewables, but the call for...

Compelling stories of shameful treatment of Fukushima victims

Blog entry by Brian Blomme | 21 February, 2014 1 comment

When most of us think of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster we think about leaks of contaminated water, criminal gangs hiring ill-trained workers to work on cleaning up radioactive materials on the site, ice-dams to stop water...

Nuclear Protest in Budapest

Image | 3 February, 2014 at 18:08

Greenpeace Hungary activists protest at Budapest’s Liberty Statue, against plans to expand the Paks 2 Nuclear Power Plant. Greenpeace calls on the Hungarian Parliament to withdraw their support for an extension of the nuclear plant. 2014-2-3

EU criticizes UK for state aid to new Hinkley C nuclear reactors

Blog entry by Greenpeace UK | 3 February, 2014

For a full briefing on the Commissions comments please go to Energydesk. The European Commission (EC) has delivered what can only be called a scathing initial verdict on the UK Government’s deal with French state owned EDF to...

Will a new lawsuit finally give some justice to the victims of Fukushima?

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 31 January, 2014 2 comments

A joint lawsuit filed in Tokyo this week offers a glimmer of hope that those responsible for the Fukushima disaster might finally face justice … The 1,415 plaintiffs, including 38 Fukushima residents and 357 people from outside...

Stop Hungary’s PAK 2 nuclear reactor

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 30 January, 2014 3 comments

Hungary’s government should abandon its plans to build a new nuclear power plant immediately. That was the message Greenpeace sent Hungary’s lawmakers today when we turned Budapest’s Clark Adam Square into a giant nuclear symbol. ...

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