Belgium Announces Free Distribution of Iodine Pills In Case Of Nuclear Disaster


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Belgium started distributing free iodine pills Tuesday in case of a nuclear disaster as part of a new “emergency plan,” which seems to be causing more stress than reassurance. 

Belgium is more reliant on nuclear energy than a majority of the world, but its plants are aging and have been proven to pose health threats to the country’s civilians.

Taking iodine may prevent the risk of thyroid cancer after exposure to radiation released by nuclear accidents. Before the country’s new emergency plan was announced on Monday, all residents living within 20-kilometers of a nuclear risk zone were required to keep iodine pills in their households.

Now, the Belgian government has issued a new emergency plan that provides all citizens living within a 100-kilometer radius of a nuclear power plant with access to “millions” of over-the-counter iodine pills. Belgium only has two nuclear plants, but in 2017 alone, there were seven “accidents” due to “aging nuclear plants,” according to The Guardian.