On this day in 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident began, highlighting the need to keep American families prepared for nuclear emergencies. The ongoing Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan now brings new urgency to implement a law passed in 2002, but ignored by two presidential administrations, to distribute radiation emergency pills to people living within 20 miles of a reactor here in the United States.
Tomorrow Frank N. von Hippel, one of the world's leading nuclear physicists, and Dr. Irwin Redlener, a Commissioner on the National Commission on Children and Disasters and the President of the Children's Health Fund,will join Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the author of the 2002 law, to encourage the Obama administration to finally protect American families and provide potassium iodide to the 20 mile radius of nuclear power plants stated in the law. Potassium iodide is particularly effective in preventing children from contracting thyroid cancer following a nuclear melt-down.
"We don't need another Three Mile Island to tell us we should be distributing potassium iodide out to 20 miles," said Rep. Markey. "The Japanese nuclear disaster is the reminder we need that the law should be followed, and American children should be protected in the event of another nuclear meltdown here on U.S. soil."