The Department of Health will offer free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets on Thursday, September 9, 2021, to Pennsylvanians who are within 10 miles of the state’s four active nuclear power plants.
“Emergency preparedness is an important aspect of public health and having potassium iodide tablets for residents who live or work within 10 miles of a nuclear facility is an essential preparedness action in the case of a radiological emergency,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said.
“It’s important to remember potassium iodide should only be taken when instructed to do so by state health officials or the governor, and it is not a substitute for evacuation in the case of a radiological emergency at one of Pennsylvania’s nuclear facilities.”
KI helps protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine and can be taken by anyone, if they are not allergic to it. It is safe for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medication, children and infants. Individuals who are unsure if they should take potassium iodide should ask a health care provider first.
The state’s five nuclear facilities are closely regulated, secure and well-maintained. The facilities are: Beaver Valley Power Station; Limerick Generating Station; Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station; Susquehanna Steam Electric Station; and the recently closed Three Mile Island Generating Station.
The tablets are available to all Pennsylvanians who live or work within 10 miles of the state’s four active nuclear power plants by visiting a distribution center listed below, calling the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH or visiting a county and municipal health department or state health center.
Individuals requesting KI tablets may do so for other family members or those who are unable to get the tablets on their own. School districts and employers within a 10-mile radius can also arrange to obtain their supply of KI tablets from the department.
KI tablets will be distributed for those within 10 miles of Limerick Generating Station on September 9, from 2pm to 7pm at Keystone Steam Fire Company, 240 North Walnut Street Boyertown, PA, 19512. No appointments are necessary.
Information sheets explaining how many KI tablets should be taken, when to take the tablets, and how to store them are provided with the packages. Health nurses can answer questions about the process over the phone as well.
Additional information on potassium iodide (KI) tablets and nuclear power plant safety can be found on the Department of Health’s website at health.pa.gov.