The Delaware Emergency Management Agency and Delaware Division of Public Health will distribute potassium iodide tablets to Delaware residents living within a 10-mile radius of the Salem/Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations called the Emergency Planning Zone.

The free tablets will be distributed from noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Middletown Fire Hall, 27 W. Green St. Residents living within the 10-mile radius have received notification of the distribution via U.S. Mail.

Potassium iodide will be available to residents who received it previously and whose tablets have reached the expiration date, or those who never received the tablets before. Individuals with home or business addresses within the EPZ are eligible to receive tablets. Delaware received the tablets when it chose to participate in a program initiated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Potassium iodide does not protect against external radiation, but can help protect the thyroid gland from ingested or inhaled radioactive iodine that might be released in a radiation emergency. Potassium iodide is one of the measures outlined in Delaware’s emergency plans developed for use in a nuclear incident.

In the event of a radiation emergency, state and local officials will inform the public through an Emergency Alert System message via local radio stations, which will include instructions on how affected residents should react, directions to evacuation routes and emergency reception centers, and if or when to take the potassium iodide tablets.

Those who are eligible to receive potassium iodide should bring a photo ID such as a driver’s license, proof of residency such as a utility bill, or proof of employment within the EPZ, when they go to the distribution center at Middletown Fire Hall. Individuals in possession of potassium iodide that has passed the expiration date can bring those tablets to the distribution center to exchange for new tablets.

Delaware residents living outside of the 10-mile EPZ who would like to obtain potassium iodide tablets should contact their pharmacist. Potassium iodide is available over-the-counter at some local pharmacies.

For more, call 659-3362.