Nuclear Power Plants and Potassium Iodide (KI)

FEMA’s – Nuclear Power Plant Preparedness Document
“The thyroid gland is vulnerable to the uptake of radioactive iodine. If a radiological release occurs at a nuclear power plant, States may decide to provide the public with a stable iodine, potassium iodide, which saturates the thyroid and protects it from the uptake of radioactive iodine. Such a protective action is at the option of State, and in some cases, local government”.

World Health Organization
In 1999 the World Health Organization (WHO) updated their Guidelines for Iodine Prophylaxis Following Nuclear Accidents.

“Stable iodine administered before, or promptly after, intake of radioactive iodine can block or reduce the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid. Intake of radioactive iodine by inhalation begins when the radioactive cloud arrives at a location and continues during the passage of the cloud. Action to implement stable iodine prophylaxis, and thereby reduce the dose to the thyroid, will be required promptly”. WHO 1999

The American Thyroid Association
In November 2001, The American Thyroid Association endorsed the usage of Potassium Iodide for Radiation Emergencies. “The American Thyroid Association endorses the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s December 2000 action requiring states and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to look into having potassium iodide (KI) stockpiled and available for populations at risk for exposure to radioactive iodine from a nuclear emergency.” – ATA November 30, 2001

“A radius of 20 miles [KI distribution around nuclear plants] is required by the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 (P.L.107-188) but this is much too restricted in light of the Chernobyl experience”. – In response to the National Academy of Sciences Study of Strategies for KI Distribution and Administration.


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