Nukewatch Quarterly Winter 2021-2022
The 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) is set to expire in July of 2022. Public pressure has seen the introduction of HR 5338 and S 2798, which would retain and expand current programs that provide compensation to some nuclear bomb testing downwinders, uranium workers, and atomic veterans. Since many impacted communities were excluded from the current RECA, the expansion includes medical benefits for additional uranium workers and downwinders from a larger geographical area. “We bury our loved ones on a regular basis. Somebody dies and somebody else is diagnosed,” Tina Cordova told Kyodo news. Cordova is a cancer survivor and co-founder of Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, which formed to seek health care coverage for survivors of the 1945 Trinity test and other downwinders. “The health care coverage component will mean the difference between life and death for people,” Cordova added. In the meantime, a downwinder clinic in St. George, Utah is holding public meetings to teach people affected by fallout how to apply for benefits under the current version of RECA before it expires. Don’t let that happen: Tell your representatives to support HR 5338 and S 2798.