EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — On Thursday, Sept. 15, The Department of Health will be offering free potassium iodide tablets for Pennsylvanians within 10 miles of the state’s active nuclear power plants.

On September 2, the Department of Health announced that they will be providing free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets as part of their routine preventative efforts in the event of future emergences.

“Emergency preparedness is a critical part of public health and having potassium iodide tablets for residents who live or work within 10 miles of an active nuclear facility is an essential preparation in the case of a radiological emergency,” Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “It is not a replacement for evacuation in the case of a radiological emergency at one of Pennsylvania’s four active nuclear facilities.”

Potassium iodide can add an additional layer of protection when properly used, as it helps to protect the thyroid gland against radioactive iodine.

The medicine can be taken by anyone if they are not allergic to it and is safe for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, children, and infants, the health department noted.

KI tablets could also be taken by those who are taking thyroid medication.

Whomever is uncertain if they should take KI should ask their healthcare provider and only take the tablets when instructed by state health officials or the governor.

The four active nuclear facilities are Beaver Valley Power Station, Limerick Generating Station, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, and Susquehanna Steam Electric Station.

KI tablets can be obtained by visiting a distribution center, a county and municipal health department, or state health center listed below with no appointment required.

  • Beaver Valley Power Station, Sept. 15, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Beaver Valley Mall Center at the Mall, 570 Beaver Valley Mall Blvd. Monaca, PA, 15061
  • Limerick Generating Station, Sept. 15, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Keystone Steam Fire Company, 240 North Walnut St. Boyertown, PA, 19512
  • Chester Co. Department of Health: Kimberton Fire Company Banquet Hall, 2276 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460 (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Montgomery Co. Department of Health, Pottstown Health Center, 364 King St. Pottstown, PA 19464 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Sept. 15, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Peach Bottom Recreation Center, 5 Pendyrus St. Delta, PA, 17314
  • East Drumore Township Municipal Building, 925 Robert Fulton Hwy., Quarryville, PA, 17566
  • Chester Co. Department of Health: Kimberton Fire Company Banquet Hall, 2276 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460 (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Susquehanna Steam Electric Station Sept. 15, 2022, times vary by location:
  • Luzerne County Community College Public Safety Center, 1333 South Prospect St. Nanticoke, PA, 18634 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Butler Township Community Center (Gym), 411 West Butler Drive, Drums, PA 18222 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Berwick City Hall, 1800 N. Market St. Berwick, PA 18603 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Pennsylvanians can also call the Department of Health at 1-887-PA-HEALTH to make a request for KI tablets.

Those requesting the medicine can also do so for other family members or those who are unable to retrieve the tablets themselves.

School districts and employers can also make a request to the department for their supply of tablets if they reside within the 10 mile radius.

Provided with the tablets are instructions and information sheets explaining how to properly take them, when to take them, and how to store them for later use.

Questions regarding the tablets can also be answered by a public health nurse over the phone.

For more information about potassium iodide tablets and nuclear power plant safety, visit the website for the PA Department of Health.