Former uranium driller Green dies

A Price, Utah, man who was one of the last surviving uranium core drillers from the West’s 1960s uranium boom, died Tuesday.  Tom Green was 82.

Green suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and silicosis, which were attributed to his work as a core driller seeking uranium deposits during the Cold War.

Green’s son, Jeff, told The Daily Sentinel earlier this week his father’s breathing was becoming more restricted. He was breathing with the help of a ventilator at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo.

As a core driller, Tom Green was not eligible for compassionate payments under the federal government’s Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, although his diseases were recognized by the government as being radiation-related.  Uranium miners have been eligible for compensation.

“He was very upset that core drillers were not included,” said Becky Rockwell, an attorney who represented him for the U.S. Department of Labor. “He fell into that gray area. I would like to see core drillers and down winders get a fair shake.”

A proposed change to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, S. 3224, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., would make core drillers eligible for compensation.


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