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Potassium Iodide Program
The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission arranged for each individual who lives or works in the 10-mile radius area surrounding either Seabrook Station or Vermont Yankee nuclear power plants to receive one 130-mg tablet of potassium iodide to use in the event of a radiological emergency. The 10-mile radius area is known as an Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). The potassium iodide (KI) tablets will be distributed by Radiological Health within the DHHS Division of Public Health Services (DPHS).

Potassium Iodide ProgramA multi-agency workgroup developed extensive plans to distribute the tablets and educate the public about the limitation of KI tablets. Many people misunderstand what KI tablets can and cannot do.

  • KI is NOT an anti-radiation pill. It protects only the thyroid gland in a person's throat from only one form of radiation identified as I-131. Individuals are still susceptible to possible exposure to other forms of radiation.
  • KI is NOT a substitute for evacuation. Evacuation remains the most effective action for protection in a radiological emergency.
  • KI should only be taken when directed to do so by emergency officials.

KI is generally safe, however, it can cause health problems for individuals with existing thyroid conditions or allergies to iodine or shellfish. Anyone considering use of KI should consult his or her health care provider.

The communities within NH's two EPZs are listed below:

Seabrook Station Vermont Yankee
Brentwood Chesterfield
East Kingston Hinsdale
Exeter Richmond
Greenland Swanzey
Hampton Winchester
Hampton Falls  
North Hampton  
South Hampton  

DPHS will make KI pills available to people who live or work in the EPZs until the NH supply of 355,000 tablets are fully distributed or the five year shelf live is reached.

To receive KI, a person must fill out and submit a simple application form Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol. The form is available from three sources:

  • the Selectman's Office in each town located within an EPZ;
  • the Portsmouth DHHS District Office or the Keene DHHS District Office; and
  • this Web site.

Also, see the Distribution Guidelines Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol for Institutions Requesting Potassium Iodide (KI).

KI tablets can be purchased without a prescription at some local pharmacies as well as from the following companies:

Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Adobe Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2010. State of New Hampshire