Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: Gifu Prefecture Doesn't Have Potassium Iodide Pills Ready for Residents

Gifu Prefecture, which sits right about the middle of Japan and downwind from the "Genpatsu Ginza" (Nuke Plant Thoroughfare) in Fukui Prefecture where 14 nuclear reactors including the fast breeder Monju are located right on the pristine Wakasa Bay, admits that it didn't have potassium iodide pills for the residents ready for a nuclear accident. Gifu Shinbun reported on June 7 (in Japanese).

According to Gifu Shinbun, the Gifu prefectural government used to store about 2,500 doses, but that was ditched in 2006, partly because there was a company that manufactured potassium iodide pills in the prefecture. The government decided to rely on the company and the pharmaceutical industry associations in the prefecture to supply the pills to the government as necessary in a nuclear accident.

Gifu Prefecture has a population of over 2 million as of August 2010.

The newspaper reports that in late March this year after the Fukushima accident, the pharmaceutical company donated 35,000 doses of potassium iodide, which then were distributed to seven hospitals in 5 areas.

Well, Gifu Prefecture is not alone. Back on March 16, CBS News in the US reported that the Japanese national government only had 230,000 doses of potassium iodide.

(Is it any wonder that 2 TEPCO employees who exceeded 250 millisievert/yr limit by wide margin didn't take potassium iodide after one day? Maybe there were no more doses...)

Nuclear power plants have been sold to the populace as "safe" for almost a half century in Japan. Stocking up on potassium iodide has been considered an awkward admission that the nuke plants may not be so safe, and therefore hasn't been done at least publicly. It turns out it hasn't been done privately either.


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

IMO It doesn't really matter because they aren't going to tell you what you need to know in a timely manner anyway. Iodine saturation therapy requires very timely and accurate information to actually work. I don't think any nuclear country carries an adequate supply of KI for the general population because it takes too much backbone to actually be honest enough to admit things have gotten so bad that people need special medication. The other side of the coin is people are generally ignorant and panicky so a good portion of the population would probably poison themselves. KI can induce severe hypothyroidism and shut down thyroid function. People older than 40 can be sensitive to thyroid saturation and some people are just plain allergic.

Anonymous said...

"In addition, the thyroid of the Japanese people are generally saturated with stable iodine, through our habit of taking a lot of sea food. There are practically no iodine deficiency case in Japan." Dr. Genn Saji, (retired Secretariat of Nuclear Safety Commission, Japan)

Not sure if it makes a difference, but FYI

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