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Free potassium iodide pills are available in case of TMI radiation

Posted 8/14/19

Free potassium iodide pills to help protect residents from potential effects of a release of radiation from Three Mile Island will be distributed by the state at the Londonderry Township Building at …

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Free potassium iodide pills are available in case of TMI radiation

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Free potassium iodide pills to help protect residents from potential effects of a release of radiation from Three Mile Island will be distributed by the state at the Londonderry Township Building at 798 S. Geyers Church Road from 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22.

Free KI tablets are also usually distributed once a year at the MCSO Building in Middletown. A date for this year’s Middletown distribution has not yet been announced.

The pills, also known as KI tablets, help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodide.

The pills are only to be taken when instructed to by state health officials or by the governor, state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a press release Thursday.

The pills are also not meant to act as a substitute for the need to evacuate from TMI, in case of a radiological emergency, Levine added.

The KI pills are given out free of charge this year to residents who live and work within 10 miles of the five nuclear power plants located in Pennsylvania, including TMI.

Residents picking up tablets will receive specific instructions from community health nurses on-site as to how many tablets they should take, if and when they are ever instructed to take them.

Also, individuals on Aug. 22 can pick up the KI tablets for other family members, or for those who cannot come in to get the pills on their own.

Three Mile Island is slated to close on Sept. 30. However, the state is encouraging residents who live or work within the 10-mile radius to obtain their supply of KI tablets.

TMI owner Exelon has said in documents submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that until at least Jan. 30, 2021, it will still be possible for a release of radiation to occur that could exceed safety thresholds established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

After Jan. 30, 2021 — roughly 488 days following the Sept. 30 shutdown — conditions at TMI will have reached the point where an off-site release of radiation into the atmosphere exceeding the EPA threshold is no longer considered “credible,” according to documents Exelon has filed with the NRC.

KI can be taken by anyone as long as they are not allergic to it, the state says. The pills are safe for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medication, children and infants.

Individuals who are giving KI to children and infants should follow the instructions provided with the Kl.

Besides the Londonderry Township building, the state on Aug. 22 will also give away the Kl tablets from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Hummelstown Fire Hall at 249 E. Main St. in Hummelstown.