Iodine 131 Greatest Threat in Japanese Nuclear Disaster


Newswise — Bingham Cady is a professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. He helped operate Cornell’s now-closed on-campus nuclear reactor and has been a consultant for several nuclear energy companies.

Cady says:

“Iodine 131 is the worst environmental actor emitting from the four stricken nuclear facilities in Japan’s northeast. It’s radioactive and has the potential to become airborne and travel downwind. It will also stick to soil and settle on the ground.

“Those in danger of exposure should evacuate the area, which could remain contaminated for months, even years. Iodine pills ¬– which have been used in past nuclear disasters – should be distributed to prevent exposed humans from absorbing contaminated iodine.

“Because the emergency cooling systems failed at these four facilities, other facilities must rethink their own nuclear safety strategy and implement tighter testing requirements.”

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