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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


Summary: The Economics of Nuclear Power

Publication | 5 December, 2007 at 12:15

Summary of a new report published by a team of international energy and economic experts which conclusively proves that nuclear power is neither a practical nor economically viable solution to tackling climate change.

The Economics of Nuclear Power

Publication | 5 December, 2007 at 1:00

A new report published by a team of international energy and economic experts which conclusively proves that nuclear power is neither a practical nor economically viable solution to tackling climate change.The report, “The Economics of Nuclear...

Saving the climate: Quit nuclear madness - Energy Revolution Now!

Publication | 11 November, 2007 at 20:25

Humanity faces the challenge of halving global greenhouse gas emissions before 2050 to stave off potentially irreversible climate change. Nuclear power is a distraction. Its potential is too limited, it is too costly and it takes too long to...

Renewable Energy and Climate Change

Publication | 5 November, 2007 at 1:00

It is a truism that we cannot continue forever consuming the earth’s finite energy resources. In the long term, the world’s energy system will be supplied completely by renewable energy sources. Unfortunately ‘in the long term’ isn’t good enough.

The Hirsch Report

Publication | 28 May, 2007 at 14:00

A report on the Progress and Quality Assurance Regime at the EPR Construction at Olkiluoto and the Safety Implications of the Problems Encountered.

Assessments of the radiological consequences of releases from existing and proposed...

Publication | 28 May, 2007 at 2:00

This assessment examines the radiological consequences following a catastrophic failure at each of a number of NPPs.

Media Briefing: Safety Implications of Problems in Olkiluoto

Publication | 16 May, 2007 at 2:00

When the Finnish company TVO ordered a European Pressurized Water Reactor from the French company Areva, Finland became the first industrialized country in more than a decade to start nuclear construction. The reactor was supposed to “set a new...

Climate Change - Nuclear not the answer

Publication | 30 April, 2007 at 14:45

While the nuclear industry’s 1950s dream of clean energy that would be too cheap to meter lies in economic and environmental tatters that same industry is now desperately trying to convince us that it is the solution to climate change. While the...

Report: Safety Implications of Problems in Olkiluoto

Publication | 14 March, 2007 at 1:00

This report assesses the safety implications of quality assurance problems in the construction of an EPR reactor in Olkiluoto. The affected components include piping, containment liner and concrete base slab.

An Overview of Nuclear Facilities in Iran, Israel and Turkey

Publication | 18 February, 2007 at 20:00

This review of nuclear developments in the Middle East focuses on Turkey, Iran and Israel, but contains lessons and warnings for all countries in the region. In each country the report outlines some of the possible risks to the environment and...

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