Iodine tablets, hoax or real?

Yesterday many people received a letter pertaining to inform about the distribution of iodine tablets, this in fact was a campaign by Greenpeace to raise awareness about the nuclear plants in Switzerland and their high risks; as well as to point out that iodine tablets are not going to protect against all the side effects should there be a nuclear effect.

But Greenpeace was not far off, until the end of this month anyone living within 50 kilometers of a nuclear station will be receiving iodine tablets by mail to be ingested in case of a nuclear accident. This is not a cause for immediate alarm, the Swiss government usually sends these out every 10 years to residents who live within 20 kilometers of a nuclear station, as of this year it was decided to expand this to include everyone living within 50 kilometers of a nuclear station. The closest nuclear station to us is Gösgen actually situated in Däniken (situatedin the canton of Solothurn) which is 57 km by car, but closer by air which is why you will probably receive these tablets.

Potassium iodide tablets, taken at the appropriate time and according to official instructions, can prevent radioactive iodine in the air becoming enriched in the thyroid gland through inhalation. In this way, the radioactive load on the thyroid can be significantly reduced.They do not however protect from all form of radiations. The National Emergency Operations Centre has more on the subject.

There currently are 4 nuclear plants active in Switzerland and after the Fukushima disaster it has been decided to gradually close down all of them, although to date nothing has been put in place.

The Nagra organisation is currently looking into nuclear waste disposal solutions. Just last week they began the trial run for a deep geological repository near Mount Terri Rock Laboratory in the Jura.

Here is the link to the goverment’s website with all the information you need to know in case of a nuclear accident.

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