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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


When the risks are so high, what would you do?

Blog entry by Daul Jang | 21 October, 2015 2 comments

Five Greenpeace activists last week entered the security zone of what will soon be the world's biggest nuclear power plant - the Kori nuclear power plant (NPP) near Busan in South Korea. Arriving via a black inflatable boat, they...

Fukushima worker diagnosed with "acute" leukaemia due to radiation exposure

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 20 October, 2015 6 comments

Japan's government confirms a worker has developed leukaemia as a result of working on the clean-up at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. There's terrible news from Japan today: Japan's health ministry announced that a...

Second reactor restart: Japan pushes forward with obsolete and risky nuclear power

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 15 October, 2015 2 comments

Today's restart of the Sendai 2 nuclear reactor shows yet again President Abe's disregard for public safety as his government clings to outdated and risky nuclear power. Here's the thing: Neither of the two nuclear reactors...

The insane plan to expand the world’s biggest nuclear plant

Blog entry by Daul Jang | 13 October, 2015 22 comments

Over 3 million people live within 30 km of what is set to become the largest nuclear power plant in South Korea and the world. So why is the government expanding nuclear and locking out safe, clean renewables? Two inflatables...

Greenpeace stands with Médecins Sans Frontières

Blog entry by Mike Townsley | 5 October, 2015 2 comments

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 5 comments

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 6 comments

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 | 20 August, 2015 5 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 4 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 ...

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