SOURCE: Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

March 16, 2011 15:08 ET

Scientist Says Fission Materials Escaping During Meltdown in Japan More Dangerous

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) - Ray Guilmette, Ph.D., senior scientist and radiation toxicologist at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, says about the nuclear reactors in Japan that what is likely to cause damage to human health is not necessarily plutonium or uranium, but the fission product materials that are most likely to escape during a meltdown, such as iodine and cesium. Plutonium is a much smaller threat. If it were to melt, he said he expects it would become a sludge-like substance that wouldn't be released into the environment unless there was a very large explosion. But if it were absorbed in the body, "it could be a problem because it is thousands of times more radioactive than uranium," he said. 

About Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) is a private, biomedical research organization dedicated to improving public health through research on the prevention, treatment and cure of respiratory disease. LRRI is committed to curing respiratory diseases through research aimed at understanding their causes and biological mechanisms; assessing and eliminating exposures to respiratory health hazards; and developing improved therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. LRRI is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, employs 1100 people, and is a $125 million company.

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