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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

 

Giving the street back to whom it belongs

Blog entry by Bernardo Camara | 19 June, 2013 1 comment

"The people finally woke up" … and they won't be going back to sleep. This phrase, heard from the four corners of Brazil this Monday, reflected a infectious sentiment felt everywhere. The hours past midnight saw thousands of people...

Gezi Park: A historic defence of democracy

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 13 June, 2013 16 comments

"Find out just what people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong that will be imposed upon them." – Frederick Douglass, American ex-slave civil rights leader. The citizens of Istanbul now...

I am in Gezi, I am in Turkey

Blog entry by Laetitia Liebert | 7 June, 2013 10 comments

With the eyes of the world on a small park in Istanbul, a new banner message of global solidarity in defence of our fragile planet has been born: 'I am in Gezi!'. Gezi Park is a tipping point, an awakening to years of environmental...

Home at last in Istanbul

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 4 June, 2013 7 comments

I have been living in Istanbul, in Taksim, for the last year and a half. This weekend I felt at home here for the first time. Against the tense backdrop and amidst the clouds of tear gas people are being exceptionally kind. A woman...

The last tree or the final straw?

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 1 June, 2013

Our office in Istanbul has been under siege. It is in the heart Taksim, an area in which a brutal police clampdown has been trying to end the peaceful protest over the planned destruction of the small, and historic, Gezi Park by Taksim...

South Korea's faked safety certificates: just another nuclear scandal

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 28 May, 2013 13 comments

One of the defining factors of the nuclear industry is its refusal to learn the lessons of the past. It's built a lousy reputation for trust and transparency and public confidence in the industry has been massively dented by repeated...

How Polish nuclear boss commemorated Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Blog entry by Jan Haverkamp | 24 May, 2013 5 comments

On the 27 th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, Aleksander Grad, the nuclear director of Polish utility PGE, sat behind his huge desk in his likewise huge office in Warsaw. What was he doing?  Keeping two minutes of...

Fact not fiction: Renewable energy is safer than nuclear power

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 23 May, 2013 17 comments

Take a look at what Jan Bens, chief of Belgium's nuclear watchdog FANC, had to say about wind turbines the other day: "The harbour of Antwerp is being filled with windmills, and the chemical industry is next to it. If there is an...

Nuclear power is safe and pigs can fly

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 21 May, 2013 4 comments

That’s the lesson Greenpeace Sweden sent to the nuclear industry once again today as we flew our paramotor glider over the unprotected Ringhals nuclear power plant in southwest Sweden, near Gothenburg. With simple gear and without...

Japanese and French companies to build Turkey’s nuclear reactors: What could go wrong?

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 4 May, 2013 1 comment

Look at what we have here: A $22 billion dollar deal for a Japanese-French consortium to build Turkey’s second nuclear power plant. What could possibly go wrong? Let’s see, shall we? The French company contracted to help...

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