Russian lawmaker threatens 'nuclear strike' against Great Britain
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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision, in March, to increase his country’s nuclear deterrents to “special alert” sent nerves jangling in the West. The development came hot on the heels of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which itself prompted fears of a new world war that could involve the use of nuclear weapons.
What tablets protect against radiation?
Experts state iodine can help to protect the human body against conditions such as thyroid cancer when exposed to radiation.
But while they offer protection against radiation, they should never be taken until you seek advice from a medical professional.
Iodine can be taken orally either as a syrup or in tablet form.
How can Iodine protect you in a nuclear war?
Iodine can be a useful tool in the event of a nuclear incident, but it’s by no means a cure-all against radiation.
During the immediate aftermath of a nuclear attack or accident, radioactive iodine can be released into the air where it enters the body of anyone within the fallout zone.
Taking iodine just before or just after a nuclear incident will effectively fill the thyroid up with so much of the element that it can’t absorb any more – whether it’s radioactive or not.
Doing so blocks radioactive iodine from entering the gland and can help to protect it from injury.
A good visual cue is to think of filling a jar all the way up with blue coloured marbles. When you then go to add marbles of a different colour there’s no room left and so they just spill out.
One iodine tablet should be good for some 24 hours of limited protection.
However, iodine tablets only offer protection against a single radiation type and work solely on the thyroid gland.
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In fact, they won’t prevent damage from other, potentially more dangerous, radionuclides cast into the air during a nuclear event.
Taking iodine tablets when there is no need to can also result in a bunch of unpleasant side effects, including damage to the heart and kidneys.
Will there be a nuclear war?
Though President Putin’s decision to raise Russia’s nuclear alert was worrying to the wider world, it doesn’t mean he intends to use the weapons at his disposal.
Both Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) – which is made up of countries including the UK and US – are very aware of the devastation a nuclear conflict could lead to.
In part because of this, NATO has refused to become directly involved in the fighting, though many of its members have supplied Ukraine with munitions and military aid.
As Ukraine is also not a member of the alliance, there is no obligation for NATO members to help Ukraine defend itself.
However, were Russia to launch a similar invasion of a NATO ally the prospect of all-out war and consequently, the use of nuclear weapons would come into much sharper focus.
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