As nuclear threats have been increasing recently due to potential conflict between Russia and the West, Norway is considering distributing iodine tablets to its population. The fear of a possible nuclear incident in the region has increased after numbers of Russian nuclear submarines along the coast of Norway have risen, risking radioactive accidents.
"We have seen an increasing number of nuclear submarines off Norway's coast – both visiting allies and Russian submarines patrolling off the coast all the way to Great Britain," NRPA section manager Astrid Liland told NRK, as reported by the Local Norway.
"An accident of this kind with a nuclear-powered submarine could actually occur anywhere along our coast," Liland said to NRK.
Amid Russian nuclear submarine fears, the Norwegian government has reportedly stored 3 million iodine tablets at a depot in Oslo as a nuclear precaution. A study group to analyze how iodine tablets can be made available to children, pregnant and breastfeeding women has allegedly been appointed by the government.
"...Iodine tablets can help prevent cancer of the thyroid gland in children and adolescents," Eirik Rødseth Bakka, deputy director, of Norway's Directorate of Health, told NRK.
Calling Russia the biggest challenge to European security, Norway and other Nordic nations have feared possible Russian aggression in the region while aiming to increase regional security through deterrence. Apart from Russian threats, aging nuclear power plants across Europe and increasing tensions between Russia and the West are also seen as a concern.