Got KI?

Protect you and your family during a nuclear emergency with potassium iodide (KI).

Beyond Nuclear is campaigning to have state and federal authorities adopt the recommendations of the American Thyroid Association’s “Nuclear Radiation and the Thyroid” calling for the pre-distribution and stockpiling of KI in and around Emergency Planning Zones at all U.S. nuclear power plants:

  • 0 to 50 miles            Pre-distribution by direct delivery of KI to all residents
  • 50 to 200 miles        Stockpile KI in schools, hospitals, police and fire stations 
  • >200 miles               Make KI available through the HHS National stockpile

Read more on why KI needs to be incorporated more effectively into emergency planning around U.S. nuclear power plants. 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about KI and emergency planning for nuclear disaster

Beyond Nuclear provides some answers to the Frequently Asked Questions on the benefits of the pre-distribution by direct delivery of potassium iodide (KI) tablets to residents in the emergency planning zone for nuclear power stations.


Belgium government moving to predistribute KI by 2018 with focus on pregnant women, infants and young children around nuclear power plants

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Belgium government is moving to predistribute potassium iodide to populations around their nuclear power plants with a particular focus on protecting pregnant women, infants and young children from potential exposure to radioactive iodine released by nuclear accident or an act of sabotage.



Canada begins direct delivery of KI to residents around Darlington and Pickering

In September 2015, the Canadaian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) began delivering KI directly to the homes of every resident within 10 kilometers of nuclear power plants like Darlington nuclear generating station. Greenpeace Canada wants direct delivery to extend farther beyond this six mile radius. The American Thyroid Association is calling for direct delivery of KI to every resident within 50 miles of U.S. reactors.


Beyond Nuclear launches campaign to require direct delivery of KI out to 50-miles of nuclear power plants and stockpiles out to 200-miles

Beyond Nuclear and its first partner group, the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3, have launched a campaign to call upon federal and state emergency officials to require the direct delivery of thyroid protective medicine, potassium iodide (KI), free to every resident in the 50-mile Emergency Planning Zone for the Fermi-2 nuclear power station in Monroe, MI.  KI is proven to provide effective prophylactic protection to the thyroid gland particularly in infants and children from cancer-causing radioactive iodine that would likely be released during a severe nuclear accident. The groups first action was to go door knocking in Frenchtown Charter Township area of Monroe, MI asking for sign-ons of support. The 50-mile emergency planning zone for Fermi-2 includes the cities of Ann Arbor, Detroit and Toledo.

The effort to directly distribute KI in the United States begins as the Canadian Nuclear Safty Commission (CNSC) is requiring KI direct delivery to Canadian citizens within the 10-kilometer (6 miles) emergency planning zones around Canadian nuclear power plants. Canadian residents will receive their KI tablets at their home addresses no later than December 31, 2015 as part of Canada’s lessons learned from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

A six-mile radius however is not effective given the demonstrated reach of a fast moving nuclear catastrophe. In 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident spread significant radioactive contamination out more than 100 miles from disaster site. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in Ukraine sent radioactive iodine even farther where thyroid cancers rates have not yet diminished. In fact, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) is strongly recommending that all residents in the 50-mile ingestion pathway zone for every nuclear power plant emergency planning zone receive a supply of KI tablets by mail or door-to-door direct delivery in advance of the next nuclear crisis. The professional medical association further recommends that KI stockpiles be established in schools, police stations and fire departments out to 200 miles from every U.S. nuclear power plant. If taken in advance of exposure, KI is proven to be effective as prophylactic protection to the thyroid from cancer-causing radioactive iodine that would likely be released from a severe accident at the nuclear power plant. At 10 cents per tablet for 24 hours of protection, state and federal emergency planners must be compelled to make this public health recommendation a nationwide requirement around every nuclear power station.

In Michigan, as elsewhere, residents in a ten-mile radius of Fermi’s Emergency Planning Zone receive a voucher in the mail that they can redeem to pickup free KI tablets at designated pharmacies.  But according to the Michigan Department of Community Health,  only 5.3% of eligible recipients in the emergency planning zone actually turn the vouchers in for the thyroid protecting tablets. Voluntary pick-up of KI is not working for  emergency preparedness.   The KI tablets must be readily at hand in home medicine cabinets or automobile glove compartments to take immediately upon notification of an emergency response in order to be effective.

KI is not to be mistaken for a blanket "anti-radiation" pill. It only provides protection by saturating the thyroid gland with a concentration of the stable iodine compound used in common table salt. If taken in conjunction with evacuation and temporary shelter-in-place from radioactive fallout, it can provide effective protection to the thyroid from the fast moving gaseous cloud of radioactive iodine (I-131) at the leading edge of a severe nuclear accident.


Canada set to launch pre-distribution of KI to residents and businesses around the Darlington and Pickering nuclear power plants

Canada is set to become the next country to require the pre-distribution of KI by direct delivery to all residences, businesses and institutions within the 10 km radius of nuclear power plants.  More than 200,000 homes and businesses will be directly receiving potassium iodide as part of the country's increased public health and safety measures for emergency preparedness around nuclear power stations. France, Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland currently require KI to be pre-distributed by delivery to their citizens in preparation for a radiological emergency.

Here in the US where emergency planning relies upon "voluntary pickup" of KI, only 5% of those impacted actually have it at home to be available if needed.

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