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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

 

Belgium’s government is Electrabel’s slave

Blog entry by Rianne Teule | 22 December, 2014

The Belgian government is kept on a leash by Electrabel. On Friday 19 December, the federal government decided to extend the lifetime of nuclear reactors Doel 1 and 2 by ten years. Only one party benefits from this decision:...

#Cofrentes17 acquitted of nuclear protest charges

Blog entry by Andrew Kerr | 17 December, 2014 2 comments

In a victory for the freedom to engage in peaceful protest, 16 activists from Greenpeace Spain, along with a freelance photojournalist – together known as the #Cofrentes17 – were yesterday acquitted by a court in Valencia of causing...

Japan nuclear regulator ignores its duty to protect the people

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 17 December, 2014 4 comments

With today's draft decision to approve the safety measures of two currently closed nuclear reactors, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is ignoring public concerns and the major nuclear risks in the Kansai region. The...

This generation will ban nuclear weapons

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 10 December, 2014

Nearly 25 years after the end of the Cold War there are still estimated to be 16,300 nuclear weapons at 98 sites in 14 countries.  Rather than disarm, nuclear armed states continue to spend a fortune maintaining and modernising their...

#Cofrentes17: why Spain's Constitution Day is important to us all

Blog entry by Andrew Kerr | 6 December, 2014 1 comment

Right now, 16 Greenpeace activists and an independent photojournalist are standing trial in Valencia for a peaceful protest they staged against the risks posed by the 30-year old Cofrentes nuclear power plant, near Valencia. They...

#Cofrentes17: Renewable bravery!

Blog entry by Mauro Fernández | 3 December, 2014

There are moments to talk and moments to act. Almost four years ago, sixteen Greenpeace activists agreed that the huge risk posed by the Cofrentes nuclear station near Valencia, Spain, required concrete and public action. On 15...

Belgian nuclear crisis continues with fire at Tihange

Blog entry by Shaun Burnie | 3 December, 2014 4 comments

Belgium's nuclear crisis continued this week with a fire and explosion at the Tihange nuclear power plant. The fire began in the electrical substation transformer building at approximately 10.30am on Sunday, December 1 and led to an...

The #Cofrentes17 are part of Spain's great tradition of nuclear resistance

Blog entry by Jan Haverkamp | 2 December, 2014 17 comments

A month before the Fukushima catastrophe began in 2011, Greenpeace activists occupied one of Cofrentes' cooling towers and painted "Peligro Nuclear" on its side: Nuclear Danger. On 28 November, dozens of academics and people from...

Lima: A positive end to a breakthrough year for the climate movement?

Blog entry by Daniel Mittler | 28 November, 2014 6 comments

There is no question: 2014 has been a key year for the politics of climate change already, even before the latest round of climate talks get under way in Lima, Peru, next week. This is the year that you, and people like you, turned ...

17 nuclear headaches

Blog entry by Raquel Montón | 28 November, 2014

"It was my duty to do this and I did it." These are the words of one of our Greenpeace activists when he was prosecuted last September for the peaceful protest at the nuclear power plant of Fessenheim in France. These thoughts are...

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