Thursday, April 09, 2009
The Nuclear Shadow Over the Happy Boondocks
Last night the county called--time for all of us within a 10-mile radius of the power plant to come pick up our potassium iodide pills. Should we have a meltdown--or, more realistically, should the plant be attacked by terrorists--everyone gets a 2-day supply, to protect our thyroids.
Of course, as the nurse put it this morning, "that's the only protection we provide. The rest of you is still getting irradiated. So really what you want to do is get the hell outta Dodge."
We had a brief discussion about just how to do that---the Happy Boondocks are kind of isolated, there are only so many ways in and out, and in the case of nuclear disaster everyone would be on the same main road. It would be a bottleneck beyond belief.
We also discussed the school thing---last time we received these pills, all four Sons were still at home. These days, two are in school and next fall I suppose they all will be---but apparently the schools within the 10-mile zone keep the pills on hand, too.
They would probably still not give them out. The school would only dose our kids if they knew they would be barricaded in the school building for a day or two. Anything less than that, and our kids would be released to us so we could, as he so cheerfully put it, "run like hell."
It's a small scrap of protection we may never need. And to be honest with myself, if we need those pills we will be in the middle of a crapstorm much worse than a little potential thyroid damage. But, I took my envelope, just the same.