Based on Greenpeace Switzerland News:
Stopping the 5 Nuclear Reactors is Safer than Distributing 55 million iodide tablets, 21 octobre, 2014
The Swiss service for providing potassium iodide tablets informed the public that 12 tablets of iodide would be distributed to 4.5 million people living near nuclear reactors. But, the authorities don’t willingly say that the distribution of iodide is only a drop of water on a burning stone. For the moment, disaster relief doesn’t know what to do in the event of a nuclear accident; stopping nuclear reactors constitutes the only dependable protection.
“Well protected in case of emergency”, is the way the press release diffused to go with the distribution of iodide tablets described it; it’s complete trickery. “Iodide tablets only serve to protect against the dangerous isotope of iodine 131 and thus uniquely against thyroid cancer,” explained Florian Kasser nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Switzerland.
“But, a nuclear accident emits many other substances which are dangerous for health”. The iodide tablets also only protect if they are taken early enough against the inhalation of radioactive iodine 131. It is very uncertain that this would function in the event of an emergency. “The real protection is very different, only stopping all nuclear reactors provides effective protection against nuclear accidents”, adds Florian Kasser.
The fact that the populations of Germany and France close neighbors of Swiss reactors are not receiving the tablets constitutes another problem. “It’s absurd, because the dangers created by the old Swiss nuclear reactors and the rapid diffusion of radioactive clouds in the event of an accident don’t stop at borders”, he explains as well.
To put an end to the essential problem, the Swiss Parliament which will debate the Law on nuclear energy during its next session of winter should make a decision for a binding deadline for stopping all nuclear reactors. (Translation our own. Original French version from Greenpeace is here: http://www.greenpeace.org/switzerland/fr/publications/actualites/energie/arreter-centrales-nucleaires/ ) NB: Greenpeace is NOT responsible for the images.
Note, as well, that even the short-lived iodine 131 with a half-life of 8 days requires months to disappear! 12 tablets would only be enough for one and a half half-lives. Iodine 129 has a half-life of 15.7 million years!
Then, there are all of the other dangerous radionuclides, as mentioned in the article.
Switzerland does have an extensive network of nuclear bunkers, but some are now occupied by asylum seekers. Additionally people must come out from underground, grow food on contaminated land, drink contaminated water. From Chernobyl and nuclear weapons testing we know that dangerous radionuclides can have serious impacts over 1,000 miles away. From Chernobyl, nuclear weapons testing and Fukushima we know that radionuclides travel around the entire world. Serious impacts of Chernobyl on Norway, Finland, Sweden and the UK are well-documented. There has been insufficient serious research of Fukushima impacts.
Unfortunately, stopping nuclear reactors is only the beginning. The nuclear waste must be properly managed or that can lead to long-term environmental contamination and nuclear accidents.