US Thyroid Experts Consider Nuclear Public Protection Plans Insufficient

The American Thyroid Association published an update in 2012 on their stance regarding nuclear radiation and thyroid health.

The guidance of the association for distribution of protective iodide (KI) is:

Distance Action
0 – 50 mi Pre-distribute KI to households, keep stockpile near
50 – 200 mi Stockpile KI in local public facilities (hospitals, schools, police and fire stations)
> 200 mi Make KI available from HHS National stockpile.


US Health & Human Services has only recommended distribution to those living within 10 miles of a nuclear plant.
The US NRC only encourages states to consider the use of protective iodide (KI) within 10 miles of a nuclear plant. .

This is far below the reasoning of the thyroid association for a much larger zone:
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) recommends that KI distribution not be limited to 10 or 20 miles. No one can predict how far a radioactive iodine cloud might spread. After Chornobyl, higher than expected rates of thyroid cancer were found more than 200 miles away from the nuclear plant. Thus, no one can predict how far from a nuclear plant the U.S. should distribute KI if it is to protect every person who might be exposed to radioactive iodine.”

During the meltdowns at Fukushima the NRC commissioner put a 50 mile evacuation zone around the plant for US citizens. Jaczko has been criticized by the nuclear industry in the US that this was an over reaction. History has proven it wasn’t. Japan eventually expanded their evacuation zone around the plant twice. Radiation levels in Japan outside the evacuation zone are as high as Chernobyl’s evacuation zones in many areas. The current US evacuation zone is 10 miles.

As Fukushima Daiichi melted down, potassium iodide (KI) was not distributed and no instruction was given to take it by the government. A few towns that had KI on hand ignored the govt statement to not give it out and gave it to their townspeople. Most did not. In Fukushima City, 40 km from the nuclear plant, the medical university quietly distributed it to staff and families while hiding this from the general public.


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