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What is the role of potassium iodide in radiological emergency preparedness?
The purpose of radiological emergency preparedness is to protect people from the effects of radiation exposure after an accident at a nuclear power plant. Evacuation is the most effective protective measure in the event of a radiological emergency because it protects the whole body (including the thyroid gland and other organs) from all radionuclides and all exposure pathways. However, in situations when evacuation is not feasible and in-place sheltering is substituted as an effective protective action, administering potassium iodide is a reasonable, prudent, and inexpensive supplement to evacuation and sheltering.

Potassium iodide is a special kind of protective measure in that it offers very specialized protection. Potassium iodide protects the thyroid gland against internal uptake of radioiodines that may be released in the unlikely event of a nuclear reactor accident.

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1. What is potassium iodide (KI)?
2. What is the role of potassium iodide in radiological emergency preparedness?
3. What is the benefit of taking potassium iodide during a radiological accident?
4. Does this rule imply that America's nuclear reactors are less safe?
5. Why does the rule require States to consider the use of potassium iodide instead of mandating its use?
6. What does it mean for a State to consider the use of potassium iodide?
7. What kinds of things should States consider in deciding whether to incorporate the use of potassium iodide in their emergency planning?
8. What are the recommended dosages of potassium iodide?
9. Can individual members of the public obtain potassium iodide?
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