We want more pills: villagers

A COASTAL village near the Sizewell nuclear site is calling for inclusion within the site's formal emergency zone - so that local residents can receive routine supplies of anti-radiation pills.

A COASTAL village near the Sizewell nuclear plant is calling for inclusion within the site's formal emergency zone – so that local residents can receive routine supplies of anti-radiation pills.

Suffolk County officials decided last month to bring forward proposals to issue people within the 2.4 kilometre emergency planning radius of the nuclear site with potassium iodate pills, which protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine.

However, villagers at Dunwich are now calling for the zone – currently covering a few dozen people in the hamlet of Sizewell and a small part of Leiston – be extended to include their homes.

This would mean the zone being extended to a radius of six or seven kilometres – similar to the one in place at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria.


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Such a zone around Sizewell would encompass the whole of Leiston and the villages of Westleton, Theberton, Knodishall, Friston and Thorpeness – a total population of more than 3,000 people.

A move towards pre-distribution of potassium iodate pills in the existing zone – from next June – was taken by emergency planning officials in the light of new medical advice over the need, especially among children, to take the medication as soon as possible after a major release of radioactivity.

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The issue has become more important following the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington because of fears that UK nuclear power station could be possible future targets.

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