On 26 August, the EU received a request for potassium iodide tablets from the Government of Ukraine as a preventative safety measure to increase the level of protection around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The potassium iodide tablets would be used in limited scenarios to avoid that inhaled or swallowed radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid.
In response, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre swiftly mobilised 5.5 million potassium iodide tablets via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for Ukraine, including 5 million from the rescEU emergency reserves and 500,000 from Austria. With a total financial value of over €500,000, the brunt of the assistance will be delivered to Ukraine from the rescEU reserve hosted by Germany.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “No nuclear power plant should ever be used as a war theatre. It is unacceptable that civilian lives are put in danger. All military action around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant must stop immediately. The EU is pre-emptively delivering five million potassium iodide tablets to Ukraine from the rescEU strategic reserves to offer people protection in case of exposure to high levels of radiation. I want to thank Austria for donating an additional 500,000 tablets to Ukraine. We will continue to be on the lookout and stand ready to act, because preparedness saves lives.”
- Publication date
- 30 August 2022
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)