COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina has received 1,200,600 adult doses of Potassium Iodide (KI) for distribution within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zones (EPZs) of five nuclear power plants, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today.
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission provided the doses to DHEC for distribution to people living or working in South Carolina within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zones for Catawba Nuclear Station, Robinson Nuclear Plant, V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, Oconee Nuclear Station, or Vogtle Electric Generating Plant. Supplies of Potassium Iodide tablets, also referred to as KI tablets, have been distributed to health departments in 13 counties. People living or working in South Carolina within the EPZs can pick up tablets for themselves and their families beginning today, Friday, August 18, 2017. Participation by the public is voluntary; tablets are free.
"Potassium Iodide provides protection for the thyroid gland against radioactive iodine," said Chris Staton, DHEC Director of Emergency Response. "Radioactive iodine is one of the materials we are likely to see come out of a damaged nuclear reactor."
"It is critical to remember that Potassium Iodide is not a magic pill that protects against all types of radiation," Staton added. "In the event of a nuclear power plant emergency, the best advice is always to follow the instructions of emergency management officials to either shelter inside or to evacuate the area in an orderly manner."
Staton said 2,401,200 KI tablets, or 1,200,600 adult doses, have been delivered throughout the state. The new supply's expiration date is December 2026. People in possession of the tablets with October 2017 expiration dates may dispose of those tablets once a new supply has been picked up. Expiring KI can be disposed of with household garbage or be returned to any DHEC County Health Department for destruction.
Staton said DHEC has been providing KI to residents since 2002. Please visit www.scdhec.gov/epz to determine if you live in the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone of a nuclear power plant. For a full listing of appropriate pick up locations click here. Offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday (except holidays).
For additional information about KI and how you can protect yourself from radiation, you can call the DHEC Nuclear Response and Emergency Environmental Surveillance Section at 1-844-723-7377.
Additional information about Potassium Iodide and Radiation at is available at www.scdhec.gov/radiation.