This page has been archived, and may no longer be up to date

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


Greenpeace stands with Médecins Sans Frontières

Blog entry by Mike Townsley | 5 October, 2015 1 comment

Greenpeace extends its deepest condolences to all of the families of those whose lives were lost as a result of the horrific bombings of the international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)  hospital in Kunduz,...

International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fukushima Report puts the interests of the...

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 24 September, 2015 1 comment

The recently released IAEA Fukushima Daiichi Accident Report on Japan’s on-going nuclear disaster in the wake of the 2011 triple reactor core meltdowns and catastrophic containment building failure reads more like nuclear industry...

VIDEO: Watch Greenpeace prank Finland's prime minister

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 8 September, 2015 1 comment

See what happened when a Greenpeace activist turned himself into a representative of Russian nuclear company Rosatom and participated in a gala dinner with the Finnish prime minister. The Tsar Bomba our guy Dima speaks about...

Nuclear is not the answer to the phase-out of fossil fuels

Blog entry by Joanna Mills | 2 September, 2015 3 comments

A hundred and sixty thousand people made homeless, with limited compensation and the prospect for many tens of thousands of never returning to their former homes. That's not the cost of a war, but of the Fukushima nuclear accident...

Volcano poses no threat to the Sendai nuclear plant – yep, we’ve heard that one before

Blog entry by Mamoru Sekiguchi | 20 August, 2015 2 comments

After being nuclear free for two years, Japan is restarting its reactors. But there’s a problem – they’re old, unsafe, and oh, did we tell you there’s an active volcano nearby? At the southwestern tip of Japan in Kagoshima...

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: remembering the power of peace

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 6 August, 2015 3 comments

More than most, Japan is a nation whose modern history is tragically linked to the quest to use and tame nuclear power. This nuclear history is not noteworthy for its successes, but for how it reflects humanity's capacity for ...

Japan's nuclear history and the power of peace

Blog entry by Junichi Sato | 6 August, 2015 2 comments

The fight against nuclear is steeped in Greenpeace history. On the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombings we're reminded of the consequences of nuclear energy and the people's movement to campaign for nuclear disarmament to create...

Japanese Government – aided by the IAEA – puts nuclear victims at risk with forced...

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich | 22 July, 2015 2 comments

The worst nuclear disaster in a generation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant – which began in March 2011 – is still very much an ongoing crisis that will not be solved for the many many decades. Most of the massive...

UK’s proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant faces resistance on all sides

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 16 July, 2015 2 comments

The plans for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley in the UK are too expensive, too late, won't help cut greenhouse gas emissions, violate EU competition law, and will distort Europe 's energy markets. On 6 July 2015,...

Count on the nuclear industry to have strange things happen

Blog entry by Brian Blomme | 7 July, 2015 2 comments

It has been said often on the Nuclear Reaction blog but bears repeating: the nuclear industry really can't be trusted. A good case in point is the bizarre antics in Finland right now. On June 30th, Fennovoima, a Finnish...

1 - 10 of 1329 results.