ANBEX is pleased to announce that, since 2002, the US NRC has awarded ANBEX contracts to acquire 12 million tablets. These tablets have been distributed among 20 States with nuclear power facilities, but will be available only to people who reside within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant.
People outside the 10 mile zone will not be given tablets. These people will either have to acquire their own personal supplies from ANBEX, or they will have to petition state and local governments to acquire the tablets for them.
ANBEX notes that the number of tablets purchased by the NRC will only be sufficient for about 20,000 to 80,000 people per plant, depending on how many tablets are given to each person. ANBEX believes this level of protection is insufficient, since millions of people live within 200 to 300 miles of each nuclear plant, and consequently could be at risk in a nuclear accident.
Further, though the FDA initially recommended 10 to 14 tablets per person, the NRC is basing their calculated needs on just 2 tablets per individual located within the ten mile zone. When asked why only two tablets per person instead of 14 are being acquired, the NRC explains that these tablets are a temporary emergency supply to be distributed and used during an evacuation.
This strategy for public protection raises important questions. If, as Chernobyl demonstrated, radioactive iodine can travel for hundreds of miles downwind of its release, then limiting KI distribution to just two tablets to people located within 10 miles of possible nuclear release points, is clearly insufficient. Millions of people might require the tables, and certainly an evacuation of this many people to areas outside the danger zone could not be accomplished in just two days.