Commonwealth Distributing Free Potassium Iodide Tablets to Pennsylvanians Near State’s Four Active Nuclear Power Plants

nuclear power plantImage by Markus Distelrath

HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Health will offer free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets on Thursday, Sept. 9 and 16, to Pennsylvanians who are within 10 miles of the state’s four active nuclear power plants.

“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. “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.”

KI helps 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.

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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 listed below, calling the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH or visiting 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.

Individuals requesting KI tablets may do so for other family members or those who are unable to get the tablets on their own. School districts and employers within a 10-mile radius can also arrange to obtain their supply of KI tablets from the department.

READ:  PA Dept. of Health Announces Regional High-Volume Testing Site to Open in Southeast Pennsylvania

KI tablets will be distributed at the locations below. No appointments are necessary.

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
READ:  PA Dept. of Health Announces Regional High-Volume Testing Site to Open in Southeast Pennsylvania

Information sheets explaining how many KI tablets should be taken, when to take the tablets, and how to store them are provided with the packages. Health nurses can answer questions about the process over the phone as well.

Additional information on potassium iodide (KI) tablets and nuclear power plant safety can be found on the Department of Health’s website at health.pa.gov.

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