Residents and businesses near nuclear plants must be given radiation protection pills as a precautionary measure, says Canada’s nuclear regulator.
The pills must be pre-distributed, before any accident occurs, in co-operation with government authorities.
The pills contain potassium iodide which help prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing radiation.
Nuclear operators in Canada will be required to pre-distribute the pills to “all residences, businesses and institutions” in nearby areas where the plume from a radiation release would likely reach.
According to the regulation, the radius of the area varies, however it is typically sized between 8 to 16 km.
The Pickering nuclear plant will likely be pre-distributing the pills from eastern Scarborough to Whitby.
For a larger zone (between 50 to 80 km) nuclear plants have to have a stock of pills ready for immediate distribution and “located so that it can be efficiently obtained by, or distributed to, members of the public when required.”