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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

 

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

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich | 22 July, 2015 1 comment

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...

Joni Mitchell: A tribute to the artist

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 2 July, 2015

On 31 March, 2015, Joni Mitchell – who helped launch Greenpeace with a 1970 benefit concert, and emerged as one of the greatest songwriters and performers of the last 50 years – experienced a brain aneurysm. Friends found her...

Germany’s Energy Revolution goes from strength to strength as the Grafenrheinfeld...

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 25 June, 2015 8 comments

One less nuclear reactor threat to the people of Europe with the early closure of the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear reactor. Germany's 33 year-old Grafenrheinfeld nuclear reactor will be shut down permanently on June 27th as the...

Greenpeace releases confidential IAEA Fukushima-Daiichi accident report

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 1 June, 2015 13 comments

The International Atomic Energy Agency report fails to accurately reflect the scale and consequences of the Fukushima disaster. The International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors meets on June the 8th to discuss its...

Chernobyl, 29 years on: A race against time

Blog entry by Kendra Ulrich | 26 April, 2015 19 comments

Today, 26 April 2015, marks the 29th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in world history – the Chernobyl catastrophe. And unfortunately, preventing further major releases of radioactivity into the environment seems to be a race...

Convention on Supplementary Compensation on Nuclear Safety does not protect you

Blog entry by Hozefa Merchant | 15 April, 2015 11 comments

The Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) is an international nuclear liability regime governed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The convention, signed in 1997, but so far not in force for lack of interest,...

Military spending: $1.8 trillion spent on the WRONG things

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 13 April, 2015 5 comments

I watched a short documentary last week about a young boy in Uganda named Locheng, who dreams of learning how to read and write ( watch it if you can, it's only 12 minutes but is very powerful). Primary school in his village costs the...

Nuclear reactors and blackouts: An explosive mix that caused the Fukushima disaster

Blog entry by Jan Beranek | 6 April, 2015 6 comments

Turkey has just suffered a massive failure of its electricity grid. A long-lasting blackout spread over more than half of the country, leaving the capital Ankara and many large cities in the dark. It may take a while to investigate...

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