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Belgium plans to distribute iodine pills to entire country in case of nuclear catastrophe

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Belgium plans to distribute iodine pills across the country as a safety measure against a nuclear disaster, according to a report from the BBC.

Could go into effect next year

Although the 11-million-person country previously had rules for distributing the pills to only some people located near nuclear power plants in the country, the health minister reportedly said that a new proposal would distribute the pills nationally.

Iodine pills, which can help block the absorption of some radioactive material, have long been distributed in places around the world as a precautionary measure. Earlier this year, neighboring countries objected when Belgium said it would restart a pair of aging nuclear reactors, but the BBC writes that the health minister cited Japan's Fukushima nuclear meltdown as a reason for the new precautions.

If the plan is approved, the BCC reports that pills will be handed out next year.