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http://www.terradaily.com/2003/030628141911.qgk4bbm9.html Greenpeace launches clean water campaign in contaminated Iraqi villages BAGHDAD (AFP) Jun 28, 2003 Environmental group Greenpeace on Saturday urged villagers near Iraq's largest and badly-looted nuclear facility to stop using radioactive barrels to store water and food. Greenpeace said it was offering clean storage containers to the residents who live near the Tuwaitha nuclear plant, some 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of the capital. "Greenpeace hopes that by offering new barrels specifically designed for water storage we can return the last of the contaminated barrels to the US military for safekeeping inside the Tuwaitha site," Greenpeace's Mike Townsley said in a statement. The residents, at great risk to their health, have been using the contaminated barrels since the plant was looted at the end of the US-led invasion of Iraq. The barrels were contaminated with a uranium by-product known as "yellowcake" and Greenpeace has warned that the water supply may have been poisoned as residents, mostly farmers, washed the barrels in the nearby Tigris River. While the US army buys radioactive barrels for three dollars each, many people keep them as a new barrel costs 15 dollars, Greenpeace said. Some 150 out of 500 barrels stolen from the Tuwaitha plant are still unaccounted for, it said. "We collected six barrels today. It is a significant start. We are hoping to collect more," said Townsley. On Tuesday, Greenpeace returned a large mixing canister containing three kilograms (6.6 pounds) worth of yellowcake to US troops stationed inside the nuclear plant. The group has also uncovered radioactivity in a number of buildings, including one source measuring 10,000 times above normal and another, outside a 900-pupil primary school, measuring 3,000 times above normal. The environmental group also urged the US-led coalition to give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a full mandate to search, survey and make sure the towns and villages around the plant are radiation free. The environmental group accused the coalition of refusing so far to allow experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out proper documentation and decontamination in Iraq. The US-led coalition has, so far, allowed the IAEA inspectors to take a stock inventory at the plant, including checking the levels of uranium ore believed to have been looted. All rights reserved. © 2002 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk