Germany bolsters iodine supply as precaution for nuclear accident
Clean Energy Wire
Germany is increasing its stockpile of iodine tablets as a precaution for the possibility of a nuclear accident. The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) said it ordered 189.5 million iodine tablets, which can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer caused by nuclear radiation, “to ensure a safe and widespread distribution in case of a radiological or nuclear emergency.” Following the Fukushima disaster in 2011, authorities had decided to extend the distribution of iodine tablets in case of a nuclear accident, from the previous 20-kilometre radius to 100 kilometres. "The federal government and regional states currently stock 137 million iodine tablets for distribution in case of an emergency. These will be replaced by the iodine tablets now ordered," the BfS said.
Germany plans to phase out all of its nuclear plants by 2022 as part of its landmark energy transition. But several neighbouring countries continue to operate nuclear reactors, including Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Especially two older reactors in France and in Belgium, which border some of Germany's most densely populated regions, are a subject of concern and German policymakers have repeatedly called for shutting them down.