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« Toronto schools want KI tablets distribution zone expanded for radioactive iodine protection around Pickering | Main | Canadians downwind of the Fermi-2 in US still waiting for emergency preparedness resources including KI »
Thursday
Apr192018

Beyond Nuclear, Greenpeace Canada and Alliance To Halt Fermi 3 call for equal protection in U.S. as in Canada from Fermi 2 accident: American Thyroid Association lends its support

Beyond Nuclear, Greenpeace Canada, and The Alliance to Halt Fermi 3, are calling for US citizens to receive the same protections against nuclear disaster as their neighbors in Canada. The American Thyroid Association (ATA) has also come out in favor of harmonizing American and Canadian distribution of potassium-iodide tablets which, if administered promptly, can help reduce the risk of and even prevent thyroid cancer caused by exposure to radioactive iodine released during a nuclear accident.

The group statement came at a public event held in Detroit on April 18, 2018, which set out the reasons why people in Michigan and Ohio living near the Fermi 2 nuclear reactor (pictured) near Monroe, MI, should receive the same protections as Ontario residents living within the Fermi nuclear station’s 10- and 50-mile emergency zones.

In an April 17, 2018 press release, the groups called on U.S. authorities to harmonize American nuclear emergency plans with newly strengthened Canadian public safety rules requiring the direct distribution and stockpiling of potassium iodide (KI) pills for Canadians living near the Michigan-based Fermi 2 nuclear station.

If taken shortly after a nuclear accident, a KI pill significantly reduces the risk of thyroid cancer caused by exposure to radioactive iodine released during a nuclear accident. Thousands of people, especially children, came down with thyroid cancer downwind of the 1986 Chernobyl accident in Ukraine. 

Ontario’s recently updated nuclear emergency plan requires KI be predistribute by direct delivery to to door of  Canadians living within the 10-mile evacuation planning zone of the Fermi 2 and strategically stockpiled in 50-mile ingestion planning zones, which reach deep into Southern Ontario.  

“Michigan and Ohio residents living in the Fermi 2 emergency planning zone deserve the same level of protection as their Canadian neighbors,” said Paul Gunter with the Maryland-based organization, Beyond Nuclear. “American authorities should match the new Canadian requirements so that potentially impacted U.S. residents can have KI predistributed directly to their homes and workplaces,” Gunter continued.

Following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Canadian authorities required safe and effective KI pills be delivered to the homes of over 200,000 Canadians living within the six-mile evacuation zone around Ontario-based reactors and be made available upon request to anyone within a 30-mile extended planning zone. Ontario’s new emergency plan extends this requirement to Canadians living within the Fermi nuclear station’s 10- and 50-mile emergency zones.

The joint campaign effort focuses on a petition to municipal governments in the Fermi 2 emergency planning zones calling for harmonization with the Canadian predistribution and stockpiling of KI as supported by medical professionals with the ATA. 

Read the full press release.