01/24/2002 AT 01:00 PM EST
Supermodel Christie Brinkley was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before a Senate committee about the new risks of nuclear reactors, reports PEOPLE. "After Sept. 11 our world has unfortunately become a more dangerous place," she told the legislators, "and nuclear power stations are now frequently reported as being targets for terrorists." A trustee for the Standing for Truth About Radiation (STAR) foundation, Brinkley, 47, worries about nuclear safety because she lives on Long Island, near three nuclear power plants. "My husband, Peter (Cook), and I are raising our three children in the crosshairs of several very old and troubled nuclear reactors . . . We've thought about (moving), but I have fought to keep our home because I do not want to have to pull our children out of school," she told PEOPLE. Instead, she says, nuclear radiation has become a common topic of discussion at her dinner table. To protect her family (she has a daughter with Cook, her fourth husband, and two children from previous marriages, including a daughter from her union with Billy Joel), Brinkley keeps a stash of potassium iodide pills on hand, which she says can counter some of the effects of radiation. "This is not the answer to the problem," she said, "but it is one step we can take."