News & CommentRadiation Protection

France Distributes Iodine Near Reactors

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  28 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5308, pp. 1871-1872
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5308.1871b

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


PARIS—French Health Minister Hervé Gaymard has announced that local authorities will begin distributing potassium iodide tablets to everyone living within 10 kilometers of 24 nuclear installations. In the event of a nuclear accident, the residents would take the tablets to block the uptake of radioactive iodine isotopes, byproducts of nuclear fission that could cause thyroid cancer. The decision in France has sparked considerable interest among radiation scientists in other countries, particularly the United States, where stable iodine is not generally made available to the public.