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Belgium News: Fighting Nuclear Attack From ISIS

First Posted: May 04, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
FILE PHOTO USPS To Buy 1.6 Million Potassium Iodide Pills
Iodine tablets, which can be used in a nuclear emergency, sit on a shelf October 17, 2002 at the new Safe America store in New York City. The Safe America store, located in New York's financial district and only blocks away from Ground Zero, features emergency equipment for corporations, law enforcement, as well as civilians in the event of a nuclear, biological or chemical incident. The Unites States Postal Service said December 3, 2002 that it would buy almost 1.6 million potassium iodide pills for its workers who want them in case of a radiological emergency. Potassium iodide is the only medication against internal radiation exposure to shield the thyroid from radioactive iodine.
(Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Belgium will give iodine tablets to the general public as part of its revised nuclear emergency plan. This measure was revealed months following reports that the bombers connected to ISIS have spied on a scientist, along with the plan of creating a dirty bomb.

The Belgium government's move to issue iodine tablets will help in reducing the impact of radiation on the body. The tablets are expected to cover the country's 11 million people, according to Health Minister Maggie De Block.

Belgium had initially planned to give the tablets to people located near the Doel and Tihange nuclear plants,  but will now broaden the distribution area.  The small country has an area of 12,000 square miles, only about the size of Maryland, NBC News reported.

This sudden move from Belgium, although not yet been officially finalized, has been prompted by the study of emergency plans conducted after the nuclear meltdown of Japan's Fukushima in 2011.  However, reports claim that it also follows the findings that a senior researcher from a Belgian center, which makes a very important part of the supply of radioisotopes in the world had been spied upon by the terror cell.

The scientist's secret film was discovered on Nov. 30 when the house of ISIS-linked suspect Mohamed Bakkali was raided. Bakkali has been charged with his participation in the Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead and hundreds more hurt.  

According to reports, the film was recorded by brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui, who were among the bombers of the terror attacks in Brussels  last March. Aside from, there have been reported issues regarding Belgium's nuclear energy plant security, which includes the two 40-year old reactors, Phys reported.

While other countries have issued the same measures, some experts are concerned about its effectiveness. Potassium iodide, a substance found in the tablet, will not protect the body from other type of radioactive elements, and may also cause adverse effects like allergic reactions, inflammation of the salivary glands, rashes and gastrointestinal upset, according to reports.

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