Senators want uranium compensation on fast track

Colorado’s two U.S. senators are seeking a hearing on a bill that would expand the compensation program for the nation’s nuclear-weapons industry workers.

Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, both Democrats, wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-N.J., urging a quick hearing on the measure, S. 3224, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2010.

The measure “would address key deficiencies in RECA, and extend compensation to a number of currently unqualified but suffering uranium workers and downwinders,” the senators wrote.

The amendments would expand the qualifications for compensation for radiation exposure to include post-1971 uranium workers for compensation; equalize compensation for all claimants to $150,000; expand the downwind exposure area to include seven states; and fund an epidemiological study of the health impacts on families of uranium workers and residents of uranium-development communities.


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