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Reuters Online

Title:   Congressman Wants Anti-Radiation Drug Near Nukes
 
Summary:     A U.S. lawmaker on Wednesday proposed a bill that would stockpile anti-radiation medicine near American nuclear power plants in case attackers released dangerous radioactive material into the air.

Source:  Reuters Online
Date:  11/14/2001 18:17
Price:  Free
Document Size:  Very Short (0243 words)
Document ID:  HC20011114720000017
Subject(s):  Domestic; Non-Washington; General news
 

 
 
 
Reuters Online
Congressman Wants Anti-Radiation Drug Near Nukes

Story Filed: Wednesday, November 14, 2001 6:17 PM EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A U.S. lawmaker on Wednesday proposed a bill that would stockpile anti-radiation medicine near American nuclear power plants in case attackers released dangerous radioactive material into the air.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward Markey, a longtime critic of the nuclear industry, wants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to have ready supplies of potassium iodide within 200 miles of each of the country's 103 operating nuclear power plants.

The drug has been shown to protect the body's thyroid gland from diseases caused by radiation exposure, Markey said. It must be taken several hours after exposure to be effective.

``Potassium iodide is to radiation exposure what Cipro is to anthrax,'' he said in a statement.

The bill would also require the government commission to stock potassium iodide at individual homes and public facilities within 50 miles of a plant.

In the wake of the deadly Sept. 11 aerial attacks on Washington and New York, Markey has urged lawmakers to pass measures to step up security at nuclear plants, which he views as vulnerable to attack.

``In this new era of terrorism, in which the threat of an intentional release of radioactivity can no longer be ignored, we should waste no more time,'' Markey said.

Government and private industry officials say all commercial nuclear plants have been on high alert since the September attacks and have adopted stricter security measures.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the dotted and sphere logos are house marks of Reuters Limited. Reuters is a registered trade mark in more than 25 countries worldwide.

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