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Belgium to distribute iodine pills to entire population

Staff writer ▼ | May 3, 2016
Belgium will start distributing iodine pills to all of its citizens in case of a possible nuclear disaster.
Belgium nuclear
Radiation   In case of nuclear disaster
Iodine pills have been used in the past to help reduce the effect of the radiation to the body, particularly radiation build-up in the thyroid.

While there are no current nuclear disasters, the recent events involving nuclear power plants - such as the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan - have prompted the country to revise and improve its nuclear emergency plan.

The Belgian government at present is already giving out iodine pills for emergency use to people living within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the country's nuclear reactors.

However, the government recently decided to change its rules and increase the range of the possible affected areas around its reactors to 100 kms (62 mi).

Belgium currently has seven reactors at Tihange and Doel, plus a research reactor at Mol, as reported by the BBC. These reactors provide more than half of the electricity supply in the European nation.

In the same report, Health Minister Maggie De Block said increasing the range to 100-kilometers essentially covers the entire population of Belgium.

Earlier in April, Belgium turned down Germany's request to shut down all of its reactors.