The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has asked the government to distribute potassium iodide pills to Canadians living within 10 kilometers of nuclear power plants, highlighting lingering concerns over the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
Tasked with studying how Canada should respond to the Fukushima meltdown, the nuclear watchdog wants authorities to ensure that residents have on hand an adequate stock of the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents.
“(CNSC) is proposing the tablets be pre-distributed within the “plume” area of radiation, of about 10 kilometres, for a selective portion of the population,” according to a Canadian Press report. “In the Greater Toronto Area, that means about a quarter-million people.”
Although many governments supply populations living close to reactors with the pills, Canadians remain unprotected, a problem that environmental groups like Greenpeace and the Canadian Environmental Law Association warn could lead to shortages “in the aftermath and chaos of a nuclear accident and evacuation.”
Energy producers present at a meeting to discuss the issue yesterday in Ottawa expressed doubts about the program, insisting that Canadians might think the pills are being “forced upon them.”
In making the recommendation, the CNSC is following in the footsteps of the Department of Health and Human Services, which earlier this year ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide to be delivered before the beginning of February.
When a DHHS employee was asked about the purchase by Infowars reporter Anthony Gucciardi, he confirmed that the pills were being delivered to pharmaceutical depots but hung up when grilled on why health authorities were buying in such huge numbers and if there was any link to Fukushima.
Top scientists have warned that if another major earthquake hits Fukushima, which is almost inevitable, it would mean “bye bye Japan” and the complete evacuation of the west coast of North America.
Critical problems still continue to plague the Fukushima site over three years after the quake-tsunami disaster which caused a nuclear meltdown, with Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) officials continually caught downplaying the severity of the situation.