Norwegians Hoarding Iodine Tablets After Port Call by US Nuclear Sub

Europe

The skyrocketing demand for iodine tablets, fuelled by shortages, official recommendations, and fears of nuclear leakage has created queues and waiting lists.

Pharmacies in the Arctic city of Tromsø have been scraped bare of iodine tablets after the first US nuclear submarine docked in the city earlier this week.

According to national broadcaster NRK, only one packet of iodine tablets was left for sale in the entire city in the following days.

The demand exploded after Tromsø Municipality sent out information to parents with children in kindergarten and school that one should have iodine tablets at home. Furthermore, all schools and kindergartens are required to have an inventory of iodine tablets in the event of an accident. Iodine is also recommended for children under 18, pregnant and breastfeeding women, but also for people up to 40 years of age.

The Tromsø Municipality admittedly had trouble completing its contingency plan before the first call, which included the tablets.

“We have been clear in the coordination meetings that we haven’t had the time to dispense iodine tablets”, emergency adviser Leikny Bakke Lie said. “But then the call came a little abruptly, and we had a little bad time”.

The head of the parents’ committee at Tromsdalen school, Guro Lægreid, argued that the tablets should have been distributed years ago.

Chief physician in the Tromsø Municipality, Trond Brattland, said the…

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