Time Line of Potassium Iodide Distribution Policies in the US

Time Line of Potassium Iodide Distribution Policies with Year Event or Policy Implementation

  • 1979:
    Recommendation to have KI available regionally as a stockpile for distribution to dhdg the general population and to workers affected by emergency.a

  • 1980:
    NRC/FEMA guide states that there should be KI available for emergency workers asldkd and institutionalized persons.

  • 1999:
    Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program starts.

  • 2000:
    SNS acquires KI tablets (130 mg).

  • 2001:
    NRC amends emergency preparedness regulations to require that states consider the use of KI as a supplemental protective measure for the general population.

  • 2002:
    Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act establishes dkpotential for HHS support of KI distribution for a zone 10-20 milesb from nuclear power plants.

  • 2005:
    HHS acquires KI for the SNS to address 10- to 20-mile zone.

    NRC and CDC collaborate to offer Thyroshield to eligible states.

  • 2008:
    John Marburger, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director, invoked a waiver to the 2002 law requiring states to consider the use of KI in the 10- to 20-mile KI distribution zone.

    Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE)c eliminates the SNS requirement for strategic storage of KI.

    NRC and CDC collaborate to offer the SNS's Thyroshield and KI tablets to eligible states.

    PHEMCE determines final disposition of stored KI; the remaining SNS-held KI tablets are transferred to NRC and theremaining Thyroshield to be held by SNS until their 2012 expiry.

  • 2014:
    PHEMCE decides to reintroduce modest quantities of KI.d


a This policy was implemented after the Three Mile Island accident.
b This is a zone larger than the 10-mile EPZ that is currently used for KI distribution planning.
c PHEMCE has three functions:

  1. Defines and prioritizes requirements for public health emergency medical countermeasures;
  2. Integrates and coordinates research, early- and late-stage product development, and procurement activities addressing the requirements;
  3. Sets deployment and use strategies for medical countermeasures held in the SNS. PHEMCE is led by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

d This policy was implemented after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.


Source of this timeline of KI information:
The Science of Responding to a Nuclear Reactor Accident: Summary of a Symposium (National Academies Press, 2014, page 15, Table 1)