Stockpiling safeguards

As a preventive measure, Westchester county near Manhattan in the US will hand out anti-radiation tablets to people living near the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The pills (potassium iodide) are supposed to protect the residents from possible radiation exposure, if an emergency arises. There are growing concerns about Indian Point's two reactors, particularly since February 2000 when there was a radiation leak.

Westchester officials have secured 340,000 such pills from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They have also notified schools within a 16- kilometre radius of making the tablets available to their students. The authorities have kept a stockpile of tablets for municipal and emergency workers.