Jump to content

Nuclear power plant


Ha. That's probably the weirdest thread title this forum has gotten.

A friend just posted online that the county where my camp is located is doing one of their periodic potassium iodine tablet distributions.

My camp is within the specified 10 mile radius. Should I be keeping a supply on hand in the infirmary? We don't currently.

I understand that the health department will give me some directive, but, should they hesitate, I wonder if I should push the issue.

It seems so crazy and unlikely...but then I didn't live too far from Three Mile Island during that kerfuffle. Thoughts? Any one else actually work at a camp near a potential radiation site?

Alex Egan, LPN, EMT-B

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

Oh boy

I would actually take your cues from the local school district, if they don't stock it I wouldn't even worry about it.

Next I would talk to your camps medical director, if one exists. See what they think and work up a policy.

If you decide to stock them, I'm pretty sure your going to have to get parental permission to administer the tabs in the event of an emergency.

This will not go over well with your camps administrators I imagine, because it will be a yearly and unpleasant reminder of your camps proximity to the plant.

Truly I would also make contact with your county or township EMA officer and see what their plans are to deal with you. They may be planning to evacuate you anyway for anything over a site level emergency, so your campers exposure would be minimal. They may also have fielded this question form similar organizations and can give you some insight on what others have done.

My other question is where do you stop with preparedness?do you get a dose of cipro for each camper in case of anthrax? I mean in the USA, there have been more illness from anthrax releases than radiation releases in the past 50 years.

Good topic! Thanks.

I wondered too if there was an emergency plan in writing for evacuation, etc. I vaguely remember that the county does have a plan because it involved evacuations to shelter in my childhood school district buildings.

I hadn't thought of parental prenotification. What a pr nightmare. It seems like it should be a case of treat first in an extreme emergency, notify later- the local authorities said to give the kids a tablet so we gave them a tablet- except that we already could have it on hand which changes things.

Why it didn't occur to me to check with the schools is beyond me. That makes sense. So much to think of.

My first thoughts on the matter were pretty close to your anthrax analogy seems like a lot of worry over an unlikely event. I'd almost rather stock and have standing orders for doxycyline. Lol. But, the difference is that there is a local DOH protocol. I guess I'd hate to be reminded of that if things went wrong. If anthrax was distributed, at least I wouldn't be the only one caught with my pants down, so to speak.

Thanks for your input!


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

My summer camp was within 5 miles of Limerick power plant. Camp owner was Pediatrician who was onsite nightly and weekends--they would provide staff directions/camper orders for all emergencies and deal with parents :)

a. We didn't keep KI pills onsite.

b. In case of warning siren, staff were to take campers immediately to inside location.

c. Evacuation would occur at direction of local officials/camp director-- local school buses were to come to evacuate campers

(They had transportation arrangement already for campers movie nights, local trips, etc.)

d. I'd yearly read Limerick Evacuation plan

]Potassium Iodide (KI)

The use of potassium iodide (KI) is an additional protective action.

State and local officials will announce when the public should take

KI in repeated Emergency Alert System messages. KI is a

nonprescription medication that blocks the uptake of radioactive

iodine by the thyroid gland. KI does not protect a person or the

thyroid from direct exposure to radiation. Taking KI only saturates

the thyroid with nonradioactive iodide. For most individuals,

taking KI is safe; however, adverse reactions are possible in persons

having existing thyroid conditions and those with an allergy to

iodine. Consult your physician if you have concerns about the

safety of KI for your child or yourself. Follow the directions for

storage and use that were included with the product. Residents

living within the 10-mile radius, who have not already done so,

may obtain more information about KI or obtain KI by contacting:

Pennsylvania Department of Health at

1-877-PA-HEALTH or

KI pills to be distributed at locations within 10-mile radius of Limerick nuclear power plant

Edited by NRSKarenRN

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

I live in a county with a nuclear power plant. My home and my child's school are within the 10 mile radius as is the local Boy Scout & Girl Scout camps that attract visitors from all over the region. The camp is less than 5 miles away. The county OEM has a KI distribution and evacuation plan in place. The county OEM has specific arrangements with the local scout councils regarding emergencies in the area at camp. The schools include a KI permission slip and emergency evacuation plan in the back to school paperwork. The evacuation plan with emergency contacts has been implemented 3 times in the past year for massive wildfires. Not once in 50 years has the nuclear emergency plan been activated but the local districts hold drills annually (in addition to fire, evac, lockdown and other mandated drills). There was a potential leak in the recent past but no major issues other than some false scares post 9/11/01

I know I don't have to sign KI permission slips when my son attends camp. Only certain schools keep KI pills on site. KI stock distribution is offered to residents in the potential 'hot zone' every few years on a mass scale and always available at the county health department if a family so desires. The plans actually call for distribution of KI at the shelters or at check points along the recommended evacuation routes rather than in home administration. The goal is to get out. The 30+ minute evacuation time delaying administration of the KI is not going to have an adverse health effect. Getting out of the 'hot zone' safely and quickly is generally a priority over KI distribution/administration.

Alex Egan, LPN, EMT-B

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

I live within ten miles of three mile island and don't stock them for myself or my family.


Specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

Since KI is not a prescription med, then the camp doctor can quietly put a standing order on it, just like Tylenol.

Thanks for all the input. I talked to a friend who informs me that the school district she works for nearby doesn't keep them.

Maybe I can go back to focusing on the idyllic parts of camp.