PROFESSOR GERRY THOMAS

Professor Gerry Thomas from the Chernobyl Tissue Bank Research Center says that Fukushima will be less of a health threat than the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

"The containment around the outside of the reactor core is still virtually intact," Thomas said. "There is a small leakage of iodine into water, but of course you've got the Pacific Ocean there and the Pacific Ocean is a very big sink. So that radiation will get dispersed very quickly. There has not been a huge amount of deposition in the surrounding area. They are right to restrict access to milk and to green-leaf vegetables, in particular those that take up iodine and therefore are contaminated. But actually, the levels are very low, they are much lower than they were in Chernobyl."

Thomas also praised the Japanese for designing a nuclear power plant that could survive such a massive earthquake and tsunami that hit the facility on March 11.

It would seem that Thomas is a representave of the Russian and Ukraine bureaucracy—Editor

The large number of thyroid tumours that have occurred in areas exposed to high levels of fallout from the Chernobyl accident raises important problems in the areas of public health, regulation of exposure to radionuclides and in the understanding of the molecular changes involved in their genesis. The over-riding priority must go to matters such as diagnosis, treatment of those affected, and prevention. International Agencies have given and are giving financial and material help in these areas. However, providing the needs of the patient are not compromised, it is very important to ensure that information that may be of value to the health of future generations is not lost. Although the post Chernobyl thyroid tumours are associated with a particular aetiology, they may also provide clues to the pathogenesis and molecular biology of thyroid carcinoma in general.

From the 'Chernobyl Tissue Bank' 5th June 2011.

INTERVIEW WITH PROF GERRY THOMAS
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