As an essential preparedness action in the case of a radiological emergency, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is providing free potassium iodide tablets to state residents living within 10 miles of any of the regional four nuclear power plants.
Potassium iodide tablets, or KI, help 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.
“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.
According to MyChesco, Beam warned that KI should be taken only under state instructions and added that it is not an alternative to evacuation. “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.”
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 or calling the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
Residents can also visit a county and municipal health department or state health center. KI tablets are not required for people living and working within 10 miles of the Three Mile Island Generating Station, which closed in September 2019.
Locations to get KI
The potassium iodide tablets will be provided on Thursday, Sept. 9 and 16 at the following locations:
- Beaver Valley Power Station: Sept. 16 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Beaver Valley Mall. Center at the Mall, 570 Beaver Valley Mall Blvd. Monaca, PA, 15061
- Limerick Generating Station: Sept. 9 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.Keystone Steam Fire Company, 240 North Walnut St. Boyertown, PA, 19512
- Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station: Sept. 9. Peach Bottom Recreation Center, 5 Pendyrus St. Delta, PA, 17314.1 p.m. to 6 p.m. East Drumore Township Municipal Building, 925 Robert Fulton Hwy., Quarryville, PA, 17566.2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Susquehanna Steam Electric Station: Sept. 9 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Luzerne County Community College: Public Safety Center, 1333 South Prospect St. Nanticoke, PA, 18634. Butler Township Community Center (Gym), 411 West Butler Drive, Drums, PA 18222. Salvation Army Community Corps Building, 320 W. 2nd St. Berwick, PA. 18603.