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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. Most recently, 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 believed the war was more about oil than about effectively dealing with weapons of mass destruction. It would result in devastating human and environmental consequences, and set a dangerous (not to mention illegal) precedent.

Though the occupying forces were quick to secure Iraqi oil fields, they neglected to safeguard dangerous nuclear material. Now that material has made its way 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 Iraq until the fall of Saddam Hussein have been stolen and local residents are reportedly displaying symptoms of radiation poisoning. Six weeks after the occupying forces took control of the country, the US finally conceded that the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), could return to assess what has been stolen at part of one site, Tuwaitha. Yet the IAEA has been refused access to the nearby population or to other sites it wants to visit, in contravention of UN resolutions.

We went to Iraq in June 2003 with a small, specialist team to examine the local environment and to assess the extent of any nuclear contamination. The team took samples of soil and water for laboratory analysis and conducted on-site monitoring with specialist radiation detection equipment. While the extent of the Greenpeace radiological survey will not be comprehensive, it will provide some idea of the true level of risk to the people of the area and to the environment.

We are calling for a full assessment of the situation at Tuwaitha and other nuclear sites in Iraq:

  • The occupying powers must allow the IAEA to remain in Iraq with an unrestricted mandate to test as well as document all nuclear sites.
  • The occupying powers must allow the IAEA to oversee an urgent medical and environmental assessment of the impact of the radioactive material that has spread in the local community - a practice that would be standard in 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

 

CITES: Last Chance for Bluefin Tuna

Publication | 12 March, 2010 at 0:00

Time is running out for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna as commercial mismanagement pushes the species to the brink of extinction.

Statement on the Separation of Safety I&C and Operational I&C

Publication | 19 November, 2009 at 0:00

Statement from Dr Helmut Hirsch, Independent Consultant for Nuclear Safety regarding the design of the EPR Nerve Centre.

Mediterranean Marine Governance

Publication | 29 October, 2009 at 0:00

A vision for a sustainable future in the Mediterranean.

Hazardous Chemical Pollution of the Pearl River

Publication | 27 October, 2009 at 0:00

Investigation of chemicals discharged with waste waters from five industrial facilities in China, 2009.

Poisoning the Pearl

Publication | 27 October, 2009 at 0:00

An investigation into industrial water pollution in the Pearl River Delta

Tackling the climate crisis will help resolve the financial crisis

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 16:00

If we can bail out the banks why can’t we bail out the planet? Greenpeace supports a planetary rescue package as described in the ‘Green New Deal’ proposal of the New Economics Foundation and called for by UNEP2 as both feasible and necessary.

Getting Serious about Nuclear Power - Too little, too late, too expensive – and too...

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 15:55

Nuclear energy’s ‘contribution’ to fighting climate change would come too late (long after 2020), with huge costs (US$ 10 trillion) and would create a myriad of other serious hazards related to accidents, waste and proliferation. These large...

Forests for Climate - Save the climate by saving forests

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 15:44

The ecological, political, and financial stars are aligned for governments to take meaningful action on behalf of the climate, forests, and impoverished communities around the world. Standing forests are a tremendous carbon storehouse that must...

A shared vision for the future

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 0:00

One of the key issues that will be discussed by Ministers at the climate talks in Poznan is a ‘shared vision’ as agreed under the Bali Action Plan: ‘A shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission...

Nuclear power - undermining action on climate change

Publication | 7 March, 2008 at 16:09

A briefing paper on why nuclear power is an expensive and dangerous distraction from the real solutions to climate change. Greenhouse gas reduction targets can only be met through using the proven alternatives of renewable energy technologies...

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