German city of Aachen offers iodine tablets amid nuclear fears | Germany |

German city of Aachen offers iodine tablets amid nuclear fearsOnly 70 kilometers separate Aachen from the Tihange nuclear plant in Belgium. Many residents have long had concerns about the safety of the facility. Now, the city is offering iodine tablets in case of an accident.  Watch video01:58German region hands out iodine over nuclear concernsPeople in Aachen often feel uneasy about their proximity to the Belgian border, and the controversial Tihange nuclear power plant located some 70 kilometers (43 miles) away. Parts of the plant are more than 40 years old. The oldest block was meant to be taken offline two years ago. Repeated reports about newly discovered cracks in the reactors send collective shivers through Aachen’s population. Now, local authorities are taking a preventative measure. Starting on Friday, residents can order free iodine tablets online, in the event of a major accident in Tihange.Usually, iodine tablets are stored in a central location, and only distributed in an emergency. But Markus Kremer, the Aachen city official in charge of environmental issues, said the city came to the conclusion that the tablets couldn’t be distributed quickly enough in the case of an accident at Tihange. “That’s how we had the idea of supplying a large part of the population with iodine tablets in advance,” he said. The tablets could help prevent thyroid cancer in case of radioactive contamination, and are aimed primarily at children, breastfeeding mothers and people under the age of 45. For all other people, the risk of side effects outweighs the likelihood of one day contracting thyroid cancer.’Don’t want to downplay the risks’

Source: German city of Aachen offers iodine tablets amid nuclear fears | Germany | DW | 01.09.2017
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