[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Anti-radiation pill success
Sizewell B
The tablets are being distributed to people near the power station
Half the people living close to a nuclear power station in Suffolk have taken up the offer of anti-radiation pills.

The potassium iodate tablets were being given to everyone living within one and a half miles of the Sizewell B plant.

Suffolk Coastal NHS Primary Care Trust, which distributed the pills, said half of the 180 homes in the area now have the tablets which should be taken in the event of a radiation leak.

The iodine contained in the tablets is absorbed by the thyroid gland, preventing it from taking in any radioactive iodine.

September distribution

A spokesman for the trust said Thursday's distribution evening at Sizewell Community Centre had been a success.

"We distributed to about half the households in the area and we are very pleased with that," he said.

"There will be another distribution evening in September when we hope the rest of the households will collect the pills.

"Anyone who hasn't collected the tablets after that we will write to, advising them to take up the offer."

Placard waving

He added the households involved had reacted well to the scheme, although there was a protest at the community centre on Thursday.

"There was a group of people we had up by the distribution centre, waving placards and protesting, but it was all very good natured," he said.

The anti-nuclear group, Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, has expressed concern that a major incident at Sizewell would also release other types of radiation - not stopped by the pills.

A spokesperson for the group said: "The truth is that it would be impossible to protect people from the radioactive fallout if a nuclear power station was seriously damaged.

"The numbers hit could run into thousands, perhaps millions."

Steam released from power station
26 May 03  |  Suffolk
Anti-radiation pills distributed
21 Aug 03  |  Suffolk

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific