Belgium, Netherlands to distribute iodine pills for nuclear safety

Belgium and is to distribute iodine pills to the entire population, as a precaution against a nuclear incident at one of the country's seven reactors.

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Belgium Tihange Nuclear Power Station

Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block has told local media that every Belgian is to receive iodine pills to safeguard against any potential nuclear incidents.

Iodine pills (potassium iodide) are usually distributed only after nuclear emergencies, and sometimes as a general precaution to those close to nuclear plants.

The iodine pills help to block radiation absorption from the thyroid, helping to protect against damage.

Earlier in the year terrorist struck Brussels, and evidence suggested terrorists had been observing nuclear facilities across Europe.

De Block said “Every country has updated its plans for a nuclear emergency.”

Germany had urged Belgium to close its reactors temporarily to ensure their safety, but the request was denied by Belgian officials.

At the same time, Dutch officials had ordered 15 million iodine tablets for its own citizens because of aging nuclear facilities in Belgium. The pills will be given to those living within a 100km radius of any plants.

Belgium has a handful of nuclear facilities with a total of seven reactors. The first commercial nuclear reactor went online in 1972.

Neighbouring countries Germany and Netherlands have expressed two concerns – of ageing nuclear facilities, now coupled with a threat of terrorist attacks.


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