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Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 11:35 GMT
Anti-radiation pills for Highlanders
Nuclear submarine
Emergency berths are located in the Highlands
More than 1,000 people living in the west Highlands are to be issued with pills to be taken in the event of a nuclear submarine accident.

The potassium iodate tablets are being given to people living near emergency berths designated for the vessels.

The move is part of new regulations governing the response to a nuclear accident.

It will be accompanied by public meetings and a campaign of public information in the area.

The tablets will be issued to householders around Broadford Bay in Skye and Loch Ewe in Wester Ross by the end of January.

Potassium iodate tablets are designed to combat the effects of radiation sickness.

They can reduce damage to the thyroid gland if they are taken as soon as possible after exposure.

The pills will be given to anyone living within two kilometres of the so-called z-berths, designated emergency moorings for nuclear submarines.

Residents living near the Vulcan nuclear submarine reactor test facility at Dounreay are already issued with anti-radiation pills.

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