Poland Distributes Iodine Tablets Amid Fears Of Ukraine Nuclear Incident

The Polish government is handing out iodine tablets amid fears that the Russian invasion of Ukraine could lead to a nuclear event, and there are two scenarios that worry the European nation.

One is an explosion or meltdown at a Ukrainian nuclear facility due to the invasion, and the other is the fear that a desperate Russian President Vladimir Putin would resort to using nuclear weapons.

Reuters reports that Poland is sending the iodine tablets to regional fire departments for possible disbursement. Deputy Interior Minister Blazej Pbobzy talked of the battles near the key Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as influencing the country’s decision to distribute the tablets.

He said he wants to “reassure all citizens” that the government’s actions are “routine” and “preemptive” to protect from a situation that “I hope will not happen.”

The Zaporizhzhia facility, the largest nuclear site in Europe, has seen buildings damaged and power losses from shelling around the area. Each side blames the other for the dangerous incidents.

Iodine is considered as protection against some forms of radioactive poisoning and is believed to help prevent thyroid cancer among the exposed.

NPR reports that a Russian missile landed about 300 yards on Monday from the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear plant in southern Ukraine. Analysts predict that Moscow’s forces want to inflict damage on the nation’s power grid before the long winter sets in.

Last week, regional governor Oleksandr Starukh reported that the Russian military fired nine missiles on the city of Zaporizhzhia, striking a power station and hotel.

Russia said it plans to hold a referendum around the area in what appears to be an attempt to legitimize its efforts at taking control. The head of the U.N. atomic agency emphasized Wednesday that the plan is still to create a protection zone around the embattled nuclear facility.

Poland’s distribution of iodine pills follows similar actions of former Eastern Bloc nations in the face of Russian aggression. And now with Putin’s renewed threats of possible nuclear aggression, the specter of disaster and the move’s necessity looms even larger.