The State Department is offering potassium iodide to its staff in Japan as a precaution against a possible radiation release from the tsunami ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
In a travel warning released early Monday, the State Department advises its employees to refrain from taking the compound at this time. The government says it is making potassium iodide available "out of an abundance of caution" to its personnel and family members, and the compound should only be consumed after specific instruction from the U.S. government.
Operators evacuated workers from Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant Monday after gray smoke rose from the plant's reactor Unit 3. The smoke raises concerns about the water level in the pool needed to keep the fuel from overheating and releasing even greater amounts of radiation.