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Iodine pills should be digested before entering any radioactive area. It's a small safety measure but worthwhile mentioning. This is to prevent the thyroid from accumulating the radioactive Iodine 131, which could cause cancer in the long or short run.

Offered by Geson.

I don't know about the case of a power station melt down; but all nuclear blasts, as in bomb, produce radioactive iodine. This iodine does not fall out as most debris does. It disperses in the air. Therefore just by breathing you are ingesting the stuff and it does collect in the thyroid. The thyroid gland concentrates and stores iodine and would do so with radioactive iodine, which would destroy the thyroid either by direct breakdown of the cells or causing cancerous cells to form. One can prevent the thyroid from picking up this radioactive iodine by keeping it saturated with non-radioactive iodine. This technique is totally effective. A drop or two per quart of water not only will saturate the thyroid quite quickly, but will also kill germs that may be in the water.

I did most of my research into this subject when Carter was president and there was a clear danger of major nuclear war. Sorry, but I don't remember the books I used back in the '70s. I would first do a web search, then I would go to and search for books on the subject. I'm confident you will find many. In fact I just did so myself and found many books. Among them:

Nuclear War Survival Skills
Life After Doomsday :
A Survivalist Guide to Nuclear War and Other Major Disasters

Offered by Ron.