Poland distributes iodine pills as fears grow over Ukraine nuclear power plant

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A Russian all-terrain armored vehicle is parked outside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during the visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert mission during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the exterior of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, September 1, 2022 .REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/File photo

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WARSAW, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Poland, concerned about fighting around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, has distributed iodine tablets to regional fire departments to give to people in the event of radioactive exposure, said Thursday a deputy minister.

Iodine is believed to be a means of protecting the body against conditions such as thyroid cancer in the event of radioactive exposure.

The bombings on the site of Zaporizhzhia – the largest nuclear power plant in Europe – damaged buildings near its six reactors and cut power cables, risking a nuclear disaster that would affect neighboring countries. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the bombings around the plant.

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“After media reports about the fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, we decided (…) in advance to take protective measures to distribute iodine,” said the Deputy Minister of the Interior Blazej Pobozy on the private radio station Radio Zet.

“I would like to reassure all citizens that these are routine preventive actions that should protect us in the event of a situation that… I hope it does not occur,” he said. he adds.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put former Soviet satellite states on edge, and President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons had already caused locals to rush to stock up on iodine early on. of the war. Read more

The Russian military fired nine missiles at the city of Zaporizhzhia, hitting a hotel and a power plant, regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said Thursday.

Zaporizhzhia is about 50 km (31 miles) from the nuclear power plant of the same name. Read more

The head of the United Nations atomic agency said on Wednesday he would not abandon a plan to create a protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant despite Russian plans to mobilize new troops and organize a referendum in the region. Read more

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Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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