Nukewatch Quarterly Fall 2021
On Sept. 22, US Senators Mike Crapo (R-Ind.) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), and Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) introduced S 2798 and HR 5338 to continue and expand the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). The bill strengthens the RECA programs which provide compensation to uranium mill and mining workers, atomic veterans, and “downwinders” of nuclear tests in some affected states. Without Congressional action, RECA will expire in July 2022. The expansion of coverage under the new bill will include some uranium workers who have been excluded by the original bill. “The government and uranium industry made millions in profits while knowingly killing workers, and this injustice has gone on for over 20 years now,” stated Linda Evers, a former uranium worker from Grants, New Mexico. Other updates to the bill would include expanding coverage to downwinders in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Guam, New Mexico, and additional counties in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona; adding new compensable diseases; and including medical benefits for other affected groups. Tell your representatives to support HR 5338 and S 2798. — Susan Gordon, Larry King, and Linda Evers wrote this update for the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment.