Background information

The Swiss nuclear power stations are required to follow stringent regulations imposed by the competent authorities regarding information, warnings and alerts during incidents. In parallel, the federal government has prepared measures to ensure that the population is protected to the greatest possible extent should a serious incident occur at a nuclear power plant. The readying and administration of iodine tablets is one of these measures.

Further protective measures in the event of a serious incident at a nuclear power plant

Taken in good time, iodine tablets prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine but they do not protect the body against other radioactive substances. This is why the authorities issue further instructions, such as the requirement to stay at home or in a shelter, if a serious incident occurs at a nuclear power plant.

In Switzerland the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) works closely with the cantons and other federal bodies to prepare measures designed to protect the population from increased levels of radioactivity. An emergency protection concept for serious incidents at nuclear power plants regulates the responsibilities and tasks of the federal government and cantons and defines how the population must be alerted and the necessary protective measures.

More information is available at: 



Iodine tablets protect against thyroid cancer

The thyroid gland needs the element iodine to function normally. This is present in large amounts in the iodine tablets (potassium iodide 65 SERB tablets/potassium iodide 65 AApot tablets). When these tablets are taken, the thyroid gland is flooded with normal iodine. This means that for a certain length of time it is unable to absorb any more iodine; if a serious incident occurs at a nuclear power plant, it is also unable to absorb radioactive iodine. This provides protection against thyroid cancer.

Using potassium iodide is a safe and reliable way to protect the thyroid gland. Side effects are unlikely to occur if the tablets are taken as directed in the package leaflet. You can obtain further information from your doctor, pharmacy or drugstore.