Monday, March 14, 2011

Give nuke neighbors 'emergency pills': US lawmaker

AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Citing worries over an earthquake-damaged Japanese nuclear power plant, a US lawmaker called Monday for giving "emergency pills" to guard Americans near similar facilities from radiation illness.

Democratic Representative Ed Markey urged President Barack Obama's top science adviser, John Holdren, to provide potassium iodide -- also known as KI -- to US populations within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of a nuclear power facility.

The pills can help protect the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine from a leaky reactor, noted Markey, who called the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant "clearly the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl" in Ukraine 25 years ago.

"We should not wait for a catastrophic accident at or a terrorist attack on a nuclear reactor in this country to occur to implement this common-sense emergency preparedness measure," said Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Markey's office said in a statement that he had made a similar request in December 2009 but that Holdgren demurred.

US citizens who live within a 10-mile radius of a nuclear power plant in some states -- but not all -- have access to KI stockpiles, and those living farther away do not, according to the statement.

© AFP -- Published at Activist Post with license

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

KI only protects from the effects of radioactive iodine.

Caesium 137, another common byproduct of nuclear fission, replaces calcium in bones. Potassium iodide (KI) won't protect you from this or anything other than radioactive iodine.

Let's face it, the risks posed by nuclear power (fission) vastly outweigh its usefulness - unless you want to build bombs.

A global commitment to fusion power would, I believe, make this possible within a generation.

As luck would have it, we happen to have a very good and very accessible one of these a mere 93 million miles away.

The earth receives enough energy from the sun in one hour to power humans for a whole year.

My 2¢

Anonymous said...

Update to above - mistake in information - it is Strontium, which is also a product of nuclear power that gets into bones - Caesium gets into electrolytes - my chemistry slipped there.

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