NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Officials in Carmel, N.Y. handed out Potassium Iodide pills at a town hall meeting there yesterday.

Adam B. Stiebeling, Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Services in Putnam County, said the move was not prompted by either the recent killing of Osama bin Laden or the tsunami disaster in Japan that devastated the Fukushima nuclear facility.

“This is an annual activity associated with Putnam County’s radiological emergency response planning,” Stiebeling said.

Steibeling suggested that residents who had previously received Potassium Iodide in liquid form exchange it, since it may have expired.

Anyone who lives within 10 miles of Indian Point nuclear facility can get the free pills at Putnam County’s Emergency Services Office.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Potassium Iodide is a stable version of iodine. In the event of a release of radioactive material, a radioactive version of iodine will enter the airstream. Taking Potassium Iodide – also known as KI – will help prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing the radioactive iodine and contaminating the gland.

Potassium Iodide will not, however, prevent radioactive iodine from entering your body, or otherwise stop many of the effects of exposure to radiation. It will only serve to protect your thyroid gland.

Are you concerned about the safety of Indian Point and other nuclear facilities? Sound off in our comments section.

Comments (15)
  1. Alan says:

    You’re all nuclear alarmist nuts. Try doing without the power from the plant for a week, you idiots.

    1. Nuclear Roulette says:

      Alan, you are understandably misinformed. Entergy, Indian Point’s owner, has spent millions on public relations messaging to make sure you are misinformed. The plant shuts down all the time for refueling and maintenance – did your lights dim? At one time Indian Point provided more power locally but the fact is, public Con Edison and NYPA contracts show that currently the plant only provides 5% of the energy used by NYC & Westchester (500 mw/day). To increase profitability, they sell the bulk of their power out of state (1,500 mw/day). With hundreds of millions of dollars in profits at stake, Indian Point’s survival depends upon convincing uninformed people that the plant is vital and worth the catastrophic risks. It is not.

  2. Jamie Kellerhan says:

    Yup, even if you ask 20 million citizens with in this disaster
    area to leave it is unlikely and the nuts that remain will
    loot everything in sight,when you get home nothing might be there
    assuming one can return. Let’s close this plant it will take decades
    to do just that.
    Thanksgiving day one can’t hit the roads because of holiday
    travel causing traffic jams,imagine a panic nuclear meltdown scenario?

  3. Ellen says:

    This issue deserves thoughtfulness, not sarcasm. The obscene amounts of money and energy that go into subsidizing the destructive king CONG (Coal Oil Nuclear and Gas), can be better put to use enabling the current clean energy technologies have a wider reach. And it is possible.
    Just as it is limiting and inaccurate to think that one supplement can counter radiation damage, (I know KI helps, but is not a cure all!), it is limiting and inaccurate to keep the energy debate to either nuclear or fossil fuels.

    1. John R says:

      Yes, thank you, Ellen, for pointing out that a far better use for the “obscene amounts of money” that currently subsidize king CONG–if even a portion of those public subsidies were spent on solar, wind, wave, and geothermal, we could jump start the transition to a safe, sane, RENEWABLE energy future.

  4. John R says:

    Distributing potassium iodide to the population is like handing out free band-aids in anticipation of a major, unprecedented (but very foreseeable) catastrophe.

    Of course, the safer, saner, more prudent, and indeed ONLY responsible and defensible course of action is to shut down Indian Point Now!

    What is the problem/

    Could it be obscene profits that continue to be made from what is in effect a license to print free money from state-subsidized nuclear power plants where the public bears ALLof the risks (financial, economic, health, safety, societal disruption, the list really has no bounds).

  5. Nuclear Roulette says:

    False choice Nick, green energy tech is ready to go and more affordable then ever before but won’t be fully implemented until we stop relying on fossil fuels and dangerous antiquated nuclear plants that can spin out of control. Indian Point needs to shut down – it only provides 5% of NYC & Westchester power (public record) with incredible risk to the 20 million people that live within 50 miles. That’s 8% of the US population!

    1. Nick says:

      I agree with you. We should clear cut acres of trees to plant solar panels like they did in Long Island. And let’s build more windmills all over the place. It should reduce all that nasty bird poop.

      Don’t forget methane from waste. It’s always nice to burn methane which has a higher greenhouse effect than CO2.

      GO GREEN!!!

      1. Nuclear Roulette says:

        I get it Nick, you’re a status quo guy. Don’t change a thing, let’s just keep burning the oil & gas and keep those old nuke plants cooking. Guess it doesn’t matter that we’re inviting catastrophe in the process. Well some of us have learned the facts, and we are not going to stand idly by and let the status quo destroy us all.

  6. Rock The Reactors says:

    They really want to scare the bejesus out of people… a citizenry living in fear is an easily manipulated and controlled citizenry. The easier solution is to simply shut down Indian Point. Power to the people! Who needs that piece of junk anyway?

  7. David Grossman says:

    Nuclear energy is neither clean nor cheap. The mining of uranium is expensive and dirty. It leaves a huge carbon footprint. To decommission an old plant costs hundreds of millions. We need to phase out all fossil fuels and nuclear and put our money into solar, wind, geothermal, conservation all forms of renewable energy for a cleaner and healthier future. Unfortunately the big energy companies are afraid they will lose profits and they probably will. They won’t be the first to become antiquated forms of technology. It’s called progress.

  8. David Grossman says:

    I am very concerned about the Indian Point plant in general. It is in a 50 mile radius of over 20 million people. In case of an accident of any sort evacuation is an impossibility not to mention that Indian Point lies on an earthquake fault. It really isn’t worth the risk. And it has been shown New York has enough energy available without it. So we need a plan to shut down all its reactors.

    1. Nick says:

      Yes. There’s absolutely no need for nuclear. Burning coal and oil has been proven to be safe and effective. We need more fumes, less nukes.

      1. Nuclear Roulette says:

        False choice Nick, green energy tech is ready to go and more affordable then ever before but won’t be fully implemented until we stop relying on fossil fuels and dangerous antiquated nuclear plants that can spin out of control.

  9. Nick says:

    They should take one a day. Just in case.

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