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Expansion for RECA: Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

July 22, 2019

July 22, 2019

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Industry News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A compensation program for those exposed to radiation from years of nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining would be expanded under legislation that seeks to address fallout across the western United States, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan rolled out the measure Tuesday on the 74th anniversary of the Trinity Test.

As part of the top-secret Manhattan Project, government scientists and the U.S. military dropped the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert in 1945. Nearly 200 atmospheric tests followed. Uranium mining persisted even after the tests ceased.

Tens of thousands of people – from miners and truck drivers to those living in communities near test sites – were exposed to radiation that has resulted in cancer, birth defects and other illnesses, said Lujan, a New Mexico Democrat.

He said radiation exposure has disproportionally affected Native American communities as well as those who have lived in the shadow of that first test.

“Radiation exposure has taken the lives of too many and continues to hurt our communities. I know how important this legislation is for New Mexico families that have been affected,” he said.

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