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Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Revives Debate Over Iodide Tablets via NYT

The nuclear calamity at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has reopened a 30-year debate about how to stockpile potassium iodide, a drug that protects the human thyroid gland from radioactive iodine emitted in reactor accidents.

Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, pointed out on Tuesday that he held a hearing on this subject in March 1982, after the commission that investigated the Three Mile Island accident recommended stockpiling the drug. Twenty years after that, Congress approved a law including a provision that he wrote requiring the federal government to provide the drug to state and local governments for people within 20 miles of reactors, if the governors requested it.

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