This page has been archived, and may no longer be up to date

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

 

Battle of the grids

Publication | 18 January, 2011 at 10:56

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...

From Tianjin to Cancun:briefing

Publication | 4 October, 2010 at 1:13

In the wake of the Copenhagen failure of last yearʼs climate talks, the worldʼs governments now need to regroup and decide on the future they want for a climate agreement.

Nuclear Banks, No Thanks!

Publication | 10 August, 2010 at 13:30

Nuclear power is not only the most controversial and dangerous form of energy generation, it is also one of the most expensive. To raise the many billions of euros needed to build even a single nuclear reactor, utility companies therefore rely...

The deadly legacy of radioactive waste

Publication | 10 July, 2010 at 15:55

This briefing illustrates why - for now, and for the coming hundreds of thousands of years - the nuclear waste problem is here to stay and why we should stop wasting our time with nuclear power. It summarises some of the failed ‘solutions’ for...

Left in the dust

Publication | 4 May, 2010 at 10:00

AREVA’s radioactive legacy in the desert towns of Niger.

CITES: Last Chance for Bluefin Tuna

Publication | 12 March, 2010 at 1:00

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

Renewables 24/7

Publication | 4 February, 2010 at 1:00

Smart grid or super grid, decentralised or centralised renewable power plants? The discussion about the future of our power supply is running hot, and hi- tech visions are everywhere.

Background: Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)/ Czech Republic TEIA

Publication | 17 January, 2010 at 1:00

A legal request by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for the initiation of an environmental impact assessment regarding the life-extension of a coal-fired power plant in the Czech Republic, known as Prunerov II.

Briefing : Radioactivity in Akokan

Publication | 26 November, 2009 at 10:41

Noveber 2009 Greenpeace expedition to AREVA uranium mines in Niger found high levels of radioactivity in the nearby town of Akokan where villagers are exposed daily.

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

Publication | 19 November, 2009 at 1:00

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

11 - 20 of 195 results.