Why iodine tablets?
The government wants to make sure the Netherlands is well prepared for a nuclear emergency. On 2 July 2014 the Minister of Economic Affairs told parliament that iodine tablets should be distributed preventively in a larger region around nuclear facilities.
This means that the Netherlands will be taking the same precautions as the governments of our neighbouring countries Belgium and Germany. The decision is in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidelines.
On 12 July 2017 the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport decided iodine tablets would be issued in October 2017. In this major operation, the government will draw on the national stock of iodine tablets which it has been building up since 1987. This will save a lot of time and energy if there is a radiation emergency. It was one of the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster in 2016. The iodine pills will be sent by post to around 1.2 million households.
In the week of 3 October 2017, eligible households in a 100km radius around a nuclear facility will receive information about this by post and through social media. The iodine tablets will be distributed over a two-week period starting on 9 October 2017.