Anti-radiation pills have been withdrawn from residents living near a Highland nuclear facility.
Stable iodine tablets were previously issued to people living near the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment at Dounreay in Caithness.
Published contingency plans for the Dounreay nuclear power plant, which is being decommissioned, date back to April 2013, but a new strategy for Vulcan was produced in March of this year.
A note on the new document states: “As of 1st of March 2018, stable iodine tablets are no longer a countermeasure due to a change in operations at the site. Tablets previously pre-distributed, have been withdrawn.”
Potassium iodide is a salt of stable iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland.
In 2008, the Ministry of Defence withdrew the tablets from residents living near a berth for nuclear submarines in Broadford Bay, Skye, after it stopped being used.
Vulcan, which sits next to Dounreay in Caithness and is also being shut down, has been a Ministry of Defence facility for testing new models of nuclear submarine reactors since the 1950s, and employed about 260 Rolls-Royce staff and contractors as of 2015.
The site’s shore test facility was noted in the report to be the only part of the site that had “the potential to lead to a radiation emergency, albeit with an extremely low probability”.
An “automatic countermeasures zone” would be set within 550m of the facility, and a 2km emergency planning zone.
The plan states: “Any sectors requiring to be evacuated are unlikely to extend beyond 2km and, consequently, numbers to evacuate would be small.”