Potassium Iodide Purchased by U.S. for Fukushima Leak-Unproven! & Conspiracy Theory!

Potassium Iodide Purchased by U.S. for Fukushima Leak-Unproven! & Conspiracy Theory!

Summary of eRumor:

This is an article that alleged that the U.S. Government has purchased 14 million doses of Potassium Iodide, a drug used for the treatment of radiation sickness.   The article alleged that the drug acquisition is because more radiation could be escaping from the crippled nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan.

The Truth:
The U.S. Government did send out a bid request for 14 million doses of Potassium Iodide on December 06, 2013.  It is not known at this time if anyone won the bid or if the product has been delivered.  We have also not found any evidence that the disabled nuclear reactor at Fukushima is the reason for drug purchase.
The source for this eRumor is a conspiracy theory from the Infowars.com website of radio talk show host Alex Jones that alleged that the “U.S. was stockpiling Iodine if preparation for Fukushima meltdown.”
It is unknown how the government expects 14 million doses of the drug to help 313.9 million people living in the U.S.

TruthOrFiction.Com is investigating this further and will post findings here when we get them.

Potassium Iodide

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Potassium iodide is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury.”  The CDC also said that potassium iodide “cannot protect the body from radioactive elements other than radioactive iodine.  Taking the potassium iodide when radioactive iodine is not present would not be considered a preventative measure and may cause harm.

Fukushima Reactor

On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, which caused permanent damage to the forty year old Fukushima reactor that is located about 180 miles NE of Tokyo.   The reactor was shut down and in the following April the Japanese government evacuated a 20 km surrounding area and declared a no-go zone.   Once the reactors were decommissioned the treat level for the plant was 1 on a seven point scale.
Problems at the Fukushima reactor may not be over, according to a 20 February 2014 article by the BBC that said, One hundred tons of “toxic water may have overflowed after a valve was left open by mistake.” They also said that the nuclear power plant, “which was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, has faced multiple problems including leaks and power cuts since the disaster.”   The radio active water did not make its way to the ocean and workers are in the “process of recovering the leaked water and the earth it has contaminated.”
Since this most recent leak, according to the LiveScience website the threat level was elevated to 3, pending approval of the United Nations’ nuclear agency.

Posted 02/27/14