Those living within a 10-kilometre radius of a nuclear plant in Ontario received an unusual package in the mail recently — anti-radiation pills.
The potassium iodine pills, also known as KI pills, were distributed in a blue box to homes and businesses in the Scarborough and Durham Region areas as a precaution in the event of a nuclear disaster.
They are to be taken just before or immediately after a nuclear emergency to avoid radiation poisoning. It works by preventing the thyroid gland from absorbing radiation.
Last year the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission changed the regulations making it mandatory for KI pills be sent to the homes of residents in case of an emergency.
The distribution of kits is a joint effort by the Ontario Power Generation (owner of the Pickering and Darlington plants), the City of Toronto and the City of Durham.
People living and working in ‘secondary zones’ — or those within 50 kilometres of power plants — can order free pills at preparetobesafe.ca.
Listen to Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Neal Kelly, spokesperson for Ontario Power Generation and local resident Daphne Adolph talk about what the pills mean.