Anti-radiation pills to be given to neighbours of Ontario nuclear plants via CTVNews

TORONTO — Hundreds of thousands of people who live near Ontario’s nuclear power plants will have to be given supplies of anti-radiation pills under new orders from Canada’s nuclear regulator.
Currently, stockpiles of potassium iodide (KI) pills are kept in pharmacies and community centres for people who live within 10 kilometres of the Pickering, Darlington, and Bruce nuclear stations.
But the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission updated regulations last Friday to require that the pills be distributed to all homes, businesses and institutions within the “designated plume exposure planning zone” by December 2015.
Greenpeace Canada criticized Emergency Management Ontario for blocking an attempt by the Nuclear Safety Commission for “selective pre-distribution” of the KI pills to people outside the 10-kilometre primary zone.
“Given the population density around the Pickering and Darlington reactors, Greenpeace submits there is a need to examine how long it would take to distribute KI beyond the 10-km zone,” said spokesman Shawn-Patrick Stensil.
“Indeed, people were evacuated well beyond a 20-km zone around Fukushima.”
The Green Party and Greenpeace want Ontario to expand the 10-km zone around the nuclear plants — the province determines the radius of the primary zone — noting that Switzerland is distributing KI pills to everyone within 50 km of a nuclear plant, about four million people in all.
“An evidence-based public review of nuclear emergency plans is desperately needed, and is especially important when determining the radius of the primary zone and the distribution of KI pills,” said Schreiner.
“People keep talking about the price we pay for wind energy, but the price we’re paying for nuclear doesn’t reflect the true cost of the liabilities associated with it.”

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