OAK HARBOR -- Neighbors of the Davis-Besse
Nuclear Power Station could receive pills protecting against
radiation sickness if the state health department participates in a
federal distribution program.
The state has studied the issue of stockpiling potassium iodide
pills for several years in the event of a nuclear disaster.
"Were working in that direction of participating, but there are
some logistical issues that have to be worked out," said Ohio
Department of Health spokesman Jay Carey.
If state officials go with the plan, pills would be offered to
residents near Ohio's two nuclear power plants -- Davis-Besse and
the Perry Nuclear Power Plant east of Cleveland -- and one across
the Pennsylvania state line in Beaver Valley.
About 200,000 Ohioans live within a 10-mile radius of the three
The pills work by stopping the thyroid gland from absorbing
radioactive iodine, which can guard against thyroid cancer and other
diseases that could result from radiation exposure.
They must be taken within six hours of exposure, and don't guard
against all types of radiation.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in December it would set
aside $800,000 to help states pay for stockpiling the pills, which
cost about a dime each and have a shelf life of five to seven years.
The issue became more prominent after September's terrorist