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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

 

Tackling the climate crisis will help resolve the financial crisis

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 17:00

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 16:55

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 16:44

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 1:00

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...

POZNAN 2008: Time to Get Serious about Climate Change

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 1:00

In Copenhagen, governments must set the world on a course to avoid the potentially catastrophic risks posed by climate change. The Copenhagen agreement must have the highest probability of keeping global mean temperature increase as far below 2ºC...

Nuclear power - Undermining climate protection

Publication | 3 November, 2008 at 10:23

There is a clear scientific consensus that we must halve global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 or suffer changes to the global climate with catastrophic consequences. Avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change requires governments...

Energy Revolution 2008 - Launch Brief

Publication | 27 October, 2008 at 1:00

In these times of economic crisis, the need to support Greenpeace’s ‘Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook’ takes on an increased impetus, as it shows how tackling climate change by investing in renewable energy systems and...

Problems with French European Pressurised Reactor at Flamanville, France.

Publication | 20 June, 2008 at 2:00

The EPR (European Pressurized Reactor) is the world’s largest nuclear reactor with an installed capacity of 1,600 MWe. It has been developed by French industry as a new generation design that promises to be safer, more reliable and cheaper than...

Nuclear power - undermining action on climate change

Publication | 7 March, 2008 at 17:09

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...

Nuclear Power - Energy Insecurity

Publication | 7 March, 2008 at 1:00

The world today is confronted with dangerous climate change, threatening the lives of millions of people and the ecological integrity of the entire planet. Epxerts warn that fundamental changes must be made to energy production and use within...

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