Lithuania to buy iodine tables as Belarus plans power plant

International

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — The Lithuanian government says it has decided to purchase more than 4 million iodine tablets, estimated to be worth 900,000 euros ($1 million), because of plans in neighboring Belarus to launch a nuclear power plant.

In a statement to The Associated Press, the Lithuanian government said the pills, which help reduce radiation buildup in the thyroid gland, will be delivered by the manufacturer in a month.

They will then be handed out for free to citizens in case of a radiation leak at the Astravets nuclear power plant, which Belarus plans to open later this year.

The Baltic country of 2.8 million people is opposed to the nuclear power plant south of Lithuania, and has forbidden purchase of energy from Belarus.

In 2009, Lithuania closed its sole nuclear power plant.

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