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Potassium Iodide and Radiation Emergencies

If you live within a 10 mile-radius of Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant you will annually receive materials from Constellation Energy Group regarding the unlikely event of a radiation emergency. Read the materials carefully and store them in a readily available location.

Emergency Protective Zone
The emergency protective zone (EPZ) is the 10-mile radius around nuclear power plants. Determining this area helps in planning protective actions during an emergency. Predetermined protective action plans are in place for the emergency protective zone around Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant and are designed to avoid or reduce potential exposure to radioactive materials. These actions include sheltering, evacuation, and the use of potassium iodide tablets when appropriate.

To learn more about emergency protective zones click here: http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/planning-zones.html

If you live within the emergency protective zone of Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant, you are eligible to receive a supply of potassium iodide tablets to have on hand in the unlikely event of a radiation emergency. For boundaries of the emergency protective zone click here.

Schools within the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant emergency protective zone have a supply of potassium iodide tablets on hand for staff and students. Nursing homes within the emergency protective zone have a supply of potassium iodide tablets on hand for residents and staff.

What is potassium iodide?
Potassium iodide is a salt, similar to table salt. It is also an essential nutrient normally present in food. Its chemical symbol is KI. In the unlikely event of a radiation emergency potassium iodide tablets, if taken properly, will reduce the dose of radiation to the thyroid gland from radioactive iodide and reduce the risk of thyroid cancer. Potassium iodide tablets are used to supplement other protective actions such as evacuation or sheltering in place.
To view potassium iodide usage instructions click here.

How can I obtain potassium iodide tablets?
Calvert residents who live within a 10-mile radius (the emergency protective zone) of Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant can receive potassium iodide tablets free-of-charge from the Calvert County Health Department. Potassium iodide tablets may be picked up at the health department Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For directions to the health department click here.

If you think you live in the emergency protective zone in another county, contact your local health department.

If you don’t live in the emergency protective zone but want to purchase potassium iodide tablets, contact your local pharmacist. A prescription is not required to purchase potassium iodide tablets.

Additional information on radiation emergencies and potassium iodide:

Calvert County Emergency Information

Calvert County Health Department:

Phone: 410.535.5400 or 301.855.1353

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Radiation Emergencies - What should I do?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Potassium Iodide

FDA/Bioterrorism and Drug Preparedness

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) –
Frequently Asked Questions About Potassium Iodide


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