EU to deploy more than 5 million iodine tablets to Ukraine in case of nuclear disaster

Image of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine: Credit: Google maps - Виктор Пятов

More than 5 million iodine tablets are being deployed to Ukraine by the EU to be used in the event of a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhia facility.

 

The European Union is to donate more than five million potassium iodide tablets to Ukraine. They will subsequently be supplied to the population living in the vicinity of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant to help protect them in the event of an increase in radiation levels.

Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has escalated in the region in recent weeks, and the fear exists that at some point, the facility could even take a direct hit. 

In the meantime, as a precautionary measure, the European Emergency Response Coordination Centre has deployed 5.5 million pills, with a value exceeding €500,000. This follows a request made on August 26 by the Government of Ukraine, which has accused Russia of militarising the nuclear plant.

Crisis Management Commissioner, Janez Lenarcic, in a statement, called for an immediate cessation of fighting in the area. “No nuclear plant should ever be used as a theatre of war. It is unacceptable that civilian lives are put in danger”, he said.

Potassium iodide tablets are administered in the event of a nuclear accident. They saturate the thyroid gland and prevent radioactive iodine binding. Studies show that taking them before or shortly after exposure can lower long-term cancer risk .

The intensification of the fighting in the vicinity of the plant keeps the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on alert. It has now deployed a team of experts in Ukraine to evaluate the Zaporizhia nuclear plant.

Grossi’s team must also assess the conditions of the personnel operating at the plant, in addition to taking urgent measures to ensure that they can continue to work safely, as reported by 20minutos.es.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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