IEMA giving free KI pills for those living near nuclear plants - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

IEMA giving free KI pills for those living near nuclear plants

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

Illinois residents living within ten miles of a nuclear power plant will soon be able to receive free Potassium Iodide pills from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

The pills protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine, which can be released during a nuclear power plant accident. The pill only protects the thyroid, so evacuation and sheltering are still the most effective ways to protect the entire body from exposure to radiation in cases of emergencies.

KI pills were last distributed in 2002 by the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety, which merged with the IEMA in 2003.

"Many people have moved into the Emergency Planning Zones around the nuclear plants since we last provided KI to the residents," IEMA Director Jonathon Monken said. "Others may have added family members or lost their pills. That's why we felt it was time to make the pills available once again."

Residents within ten miles of a nuclear power plant will receive vouchers redeemable at over 40 participating Walgreens stores. The vouchers are good for a two-day supply of KI for every member of the household for use in case there is ever an accident or emergency.

There are power plants located in Byron, Braidwood, Clinton, Dresden, LaSalle, and Quad-Cities. For more information on KI and the IEMA's nuclear safety programs, visit www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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