Scrolling through the online solicitation, you’ll see the U.S. Army Medical Material Agency wants to ensure “critical operational forces are protected in the event of nuclear fallout.”
The FDA recommends taking potassium iodide in radiation emergencies to block cancer-causing radioiodines that would otherwise be absorbed by the body’s thyroid — the gland in your neck that regulates adrenaline and metabolism, along with doing a bunch of other stuff we need to survive.
The U.S. has bought potassium iodide tablets in the past, and is now looking ahead to scenarios, possibly spurred by last year’s Fukushima crisis.
As the federal solicitation is quick to point out, “The recent earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 and the resultant nuclear crisis has renewed interest in this item.”
Of course, potassium iodide would also come in handy if there were to be an airstrike against a target laden will nuclear material, say, like the sites in Iran. One of the big concerns surrounding the practical devastation of those nuclear facilities is the radiation it will unleash into the surroundings.
Destroying one of the most likely Iranian targets, the 1000-megawatt Bushehr nuclear plant, would create just such a concern.