Romania is preparing to hand out potassium iodide tablets to its citizen in case of a nuclear incident, as the conflict in neighboring Ukraine continues to rage on.
"The Romanian Government and the Ministry of Health will start the campaign to inform the population on how to administer and store potassium iodide tablets," the Romanian health ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
It said, "the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance House will establish the legal procedure for the distribution of potassium iodide pills for the population aged 0 to 40 years."
Potassium iodide can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, therefore protecting the gland from radiation injury during a nuclear incident. The distribution of the tablets is expected in the second half of April.
The Romanian health ministry didn't mention the reasons for the upcoming handout. However, they said, "at this time, there is no danger of making these pills necessary."
Romania shares a 381-mile border with Ukraine. Russian forces have captured multiple nuclear power stations as the conflict enters the 40th day. Fears of a nuclear accident (read: here & here) have flared up numerous times during the conflict.
Last month, the European Commission encouraged EU members to begin stockpiling iodide tablets.
"The commission is working to ensure it enhances preparedness in the area of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear threats (CRBN) generally, and this predates the war in Ukraine," a commission spokesman told FT:
Google searches for the tablets have spiked to levels not seen since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
What is NATO planning that requires mass distribution of potassium iodide tablets?