By David Agnew, Cape Cod Downwinders
Cape Downwinders had a successful campaign to get potassium iodide for Cape Kids over ten years ago. Potassium iodide, or KI, protects the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine released in a severe accident – IF taken in time. Radio-iodine can be released in large quantities, and children’s developing thyroid glands are especially susceptible to damage from it. (Children are about 5 times more likely than an adult to get cancer from any given dose of radiation.)
A coalition of people around the state got the Commonwealth’s ACT RELATIVE TO NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS amended to require the owners of nuclear stations to provide KI to people within ten miles of a reactor, and people near Pilgrim and Seabrook ensured that the amendment also applied to Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties, as well as in the area known as Cape Ann.
Chatham went right to work back in 2002 to develop a plan to stockpile KI in the schools so that children could take it as soon as possible in the event of a severe accident at Pilgrim. Falmouth evidently has been waiting for citizens to raise the issue again before doing much of anything.
Read about KI here.