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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

 

Fukushima Fallout

Publication | 15 February, 2013 at 23:30

From the beginning of the use of nuclear power to produce electricity 60 years ago, the nuclear industry has been protected from paying the full costs of its failures. Governments have created a system that protects the profits of companies while...

Beyond Nuclear

Publication | 6 February, 2013 at 0:30

After decades of market dominance, high profitability and the creation of strong shareholder value, Japan's nuclear utilities have seen their fortunes turn in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Toxic Assets

Publication | 12 June, 2012 at 6:00

This report looks at the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster from an investors’ point of view. It identifies the long-known technological, management, governance and other institutional deficiencies that were instrumental in turning a predicted...

Lessons from Fukushima

Publication | 28 February, 2012 at 2:00

It has been almost 12 months since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Although the Great East Japan earthquake and the following tsunami triggered it, the key causes of the nuclear accident lie in the institutional failures of political...

Shadowlands

Publication | 19 February, 2012 at 23:00

On 11 March 2011 the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Japan changed forever. An earthquake and tsunami destroyed towns and villages on the northeast coast. Some 20,000 people died. Greenpeace visited people affected by the Fukushima...

EPR-Nuclear-Reactor-2012

Publication | 6 February, 2012 at 15:57

An update of the 2008 Greenpeace International briefing on the EPR reactor. We have added some of the many new design and construction errors and the economic setbacks the EPR has run into. We also include more information on the tremendous gains...

G8 Climate and Energy Action Checklist 2011

Publication | 25 May, 2011 at 11:20

G8 leaders have a unique opportunity to drive a renewable energy revolution and prevent catastrophic climate change. To be considered a success, the G8 must meet the demands in the Greenpeace G8 Checklist.

Chernobyl field findings - 25 years later

Publication | 7 April, 2011 at 9:00

In the early morning of 26 April 1986, a major nuclear accident occurred in reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine. The reactor’s explosion and subsequent burning went down in history as the world’s worst civilian...

Fukushima – INES scale rating

Publication | 25 March, 2011 at 19:15

A new analysis prepared for Greenpeace Germany by nuclear safety expert Dr Helmut Hirsch shows that by March 23 2011, Japan’s nuclear crisis has already released enough radioactivity to be ranked at Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event...

Battle of the grids

Publication | 18 January, 2011 at 9:56

Europe’s electricity grid is characterised by big, polluting power stations pumping out constant energy, regardless of consumer need. Climate policy and consumer demand are hurtling us towards a smarter, more efficient Europe-wide grid opening up...

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