Bruno Chareyron is a nuclear engineer who specialises in environmental impact assessment
He is also head of France’s Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation (CRIIRAD).
He told euronews he believes the situation in Japan is going to get a lot worse: “Radiation levels outside the plant are now around four million times higher than natural levels. That means a few hours exposure could be potentially fatal for staff in the short term.”
“We can imagine that certain workers have already been subjected to lethal doses of radiation, and from that point of view their fight against what’s going on is in some way a sacrifice,” he added.
“Everything must now be done to keep people as far away as possible from the contamination zone. People close to the affected area will also have to seal-up their homes to prevent inhaling the noxious air. People will have to wear the right masks and in certain cases take iodine tablets to reduce the risk of radiation poisoning the thyroid,” said Chareyron.
“We’re already in a grave situation, that we can describe as a catastrophe when we think of the number of reactors which have serious confinement problems and are dispersing radioactive material into the environment. But there’s no point comparing the situation to Chernobyl, it’s still too early,” he said.