As reported by The New York Times, after the September 11th attacks, Congress passed a law instructing the federal government to help states build bigger stocks of a simple, cheap drug to protect people near nuclear power plants in the event of an accident or terrorist attack. Under a 2002 law, states with nuclear plants would get help increasing supplies of potassium iodide. But the 2002 law left a legal loophole allowing the White House to forgo distribution if officials found that there was a better way to prevent cancer than administering the thyroid drug. And after years of delays, the former Presidential Administration dropped the plan in 2007, saying evacuations would be a better alternative. Now advocates are trying again, bargaining on a new Administration that is re-examining the previous Administration’s policies. Last week, a Representative, the Massachusetts Democrat who wrote the drug provision in the 2002 law, sent a letter to the President asking for a review of its fate. The White House said in a statement that it was reviewing the legislation and “the process used by the prior administration.” Champions of nuclear power argued that the chance of release of iodine was so small that distributing drugs in advance over a wide area would only undercut public confidence in the safety of nuclear power. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/health/policy/07tablets.html?_r=1&ref=health
Drugs or Evacuation in Nuclear Plant Incidents?
While there are visible differences between the Obama and Bush administrations, there are little fights that also make a security difference. For instance, if there is a nuclear power plant accident or terrorist attack, the Bush Administration saw evacuation as a major life safety response while Congress – way back in 2002 – felt potassium iodine stockpiled would be an answer.