By Jenny Hope
Nearly 1,000 people living near Britain’s oldest nuclear power station are to be given anti-nuclear pills. It is the first time the tablets – potassium iodate – have been issued for emergency use to the public.

The move has been ordered by Gloucestershire County Council as part of a plan in case of an accident at the Berkeley Power Station, which is 20 years old. The council thinks such a safety improvement is necessary before the power station’s operating licence can be extended until the year 2000.

The anti-radiation tablets stop the thyroid gland from absorbing harmful radioactive iodine by flooding it with a harmless form of the chemical. They have only ever been taken once in Britain. That was when they were issued two years ago to the workers at Hinkley Point Power Station in Somerset during a leak of radioactive gas on the site.

The tablets will be given to 100 people living and working on 28 farms near the Berkeley Power Station and 750 people working in factories in the industrial area near the reactor and will be taken only if there is a leakage in the plant. Privately, the council is worried that distributing the tablets will cause unnecessary alamı among the population.


Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).

1. Anti-radiation pills are potassium iodate tablets which prevent people from taking in radioactive iodine.

2. The tablets will be distributed to workers employed at the Berkeley Power Station.

3. Anti-radiation pills are distributed only to be used if there is an accident at the power station.

4. The panic caused by the distribution of the tablets has been prevented by the explanations of the council.

5. In Britain, the tablets were first given to the workers at Hinkley Point Power Station

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