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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

 

Conditions for a Nuclear Free Middle East

Publication | 18 February, 2007 at 19:35

The goal of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East, and more generally a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) free zone in the Middle East, has been repeatedly affirmed by all states involved as well as the international community at the...

A Guide to the Climate Negotiations in Nairobi

Publication | 2 November, 2006 at 1:00

The Climate Negotiations are held in Nairobi, 6-17 November 2006.Unless governments instill some urgency in the post-2012 negotiations as well as seriously dealing with Adaptation, they will be wasting the precious little time we have to act to...

Britain's New Bomb Programme Exposed

Publication | 20 October, 2006 at 2:00

The UK government has given go ahead for new nuclear weapons developments: Greenpeace investigation reveals PM’s hypocrisy.

Letter to UN Secretary -General Kofi Annan

Publication | 1 June, 2006 at 2:00

Greenpeace responds to Kofi Annan's speech of 18 May 2006 at Tokyo University on the NPT crisis of confidence and compliance.

Nuclear Weapons in Europe - Survey Results in Six European Countries

Publication | 30 May, 2006 at 2:00

Strategic Communications Inc. organized surveys of public opinion in six European countries – Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey -- during late April and early May, 2006. In each country we tested public awareness...

Securing our safety, ensuring our survival - why US NATO nuclear weapons in Europe...

Publication | 30 May, 2006 at 2:00

Six European countries - Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands,Turkey and the United Kingdom - host 480 US owned and controlled nuclear bombs under NATO “nuclear sharing” arrangements. These weapons are illegal,irresponsible and unjustifiable.

Where Have All The Tuna Gone?

Publication | 24 May, 2006 at 2:00

Fishing for northern bluefin tuna is one of the most profitable fishing industries in the Mediterranean. However, today's mismanagement, boosted by purse seining fishing fleets and the fast development of tuna fattening ranches, threatens the...

The end of KEDO: Why supplying a nuclear reactor to North Korea would have increased...

Publication | 23 May, 2006 at 2:00

The discussion about the North Korean demand for nuclear reactor technology in exchange for abandoning its nuclear weapons program is premised on the misconception that Light Water Reactors are "proliferation resistant". This briefing has been...

Toxic Lobby - How the chemicals industry is trying to kill REACH

Publication | 4 May, 2006 at 12:00

Large chemicals firms representing private business interests have led a concerted push to undermine and destroy EU attempts to protect the public from hazardous chemicals. The report, 'Toxic Lobby: How the chemicals industry is trying to kill...

Nuclear Power - Unsustainable, Uneconomic, Dirty and Dangerous

Publication | 4 May, 2006 at 2:00

Greenpeace International Briefing for the Commission on Sustainable Development CSD-14 -- Energy for Sustainable Development

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