EU sends 5 million anti-radiation tablets to Ukraine
Brussels, Aug 30 (EFE).- The European Union has donated 5.5 million potassium iodide tablets to Ukraine in order to protect the population from possible exposure to radiation resulting from acts of conflict around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, the largest of its kind in Europe.
Potassium iodide is a nonradioactive iodine salt that can help prevent thyroid absorption of radioactive iodine.
The European Commission received a request for potassium iodide tablets from Ukraine’s government on August 26.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Commission’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations said it had “swiftly” mobilized 5.5 million items that could be “used in limited scenarios to avoid that inhaled or swallowed radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid.”
Crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: “No nuclear power plant should ever be used as a war theater. It is unacceptable that civilian lives are put in danger. All military action around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant must stop immediately.
“The EU is pre-emptively delivering five million potassium iodide tablets to Ukraine from the rescEU strategic reserves to offer people protection in case of exposure to high levels of radiation. I want to thank Austria for donating an additional 500,000 tablets to Ukraine.”
Russian and Ukrainian forces have accused each other of attacking the nuclear plant, which is in Russian hands but operated by Ukrainian technicians.
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency led by its director general Rafael Grossi traveled to Ukraine on Monday with the hope of visiting the plant. EFE