The public health service in Sør-Varanger, the Norwegian municipality bordering Russia, starts distribution of iodine pills to the population as a preventive health measure in case of a nuclear accident on the Kola Peninsula.
The public health service in Sør-Varanger municipality starts distribution of iodine pills to the population as a preventive health measure in case of a nuclear accident in the Kola Peninsula. From March 1 the public health service in the border municipality Sør-Varanger starts to distribute cancer prophylactic iodine pills to all children and adolescents under the age of 18.
- We do not expect a nuclear disaster to happen, but one should keep in mind that something might go wrong and have a plan ready, chief physician Tor Seierstad told the newspaper Finnmarken.
Within relatively close proximity to Sør-Varanger, on the Kola Peninsula, are located a nuclear power plant, nuclear submarine bases, nuclear waste storages and other radioactive sources. The latest report from Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority shows that security at these objects has improved in the last years, but a risk and vulnerability analysis tells that taking certain precautions nevertheless can be wise.
Research after the Chernobyl accident in 1986 shows that children can benefit from taking iodine pills as a preventive measure if a nuclear accident occurs. Adults do not have the same need for iodine.
In case of a nuclear accident on the Kola Peninsula, the atomic cloud can reach Sør-Varanger at worst within four hours. That is why the public health service after consultation with the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority has decided that people should have the pills at home instead of receiving them after an accident has occurred.
Chief physician Tor Seierstad underlines that this is simply a preventive health measure and that there is no reason to be scared. – It is safe to live in Sør-Varanger, he says.