Uranium Workers Invited to Testify at June 27th RECA Hearing

Photographer: Vladimir Weiss

The Post’71 Uranium Workers have been invited to provide testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, June 27th. They will join the Trinity Downwinders in testifying in support of the proposed amendments to expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to include the Trinity Downwinders and Post’71 Uranium Workers.  Cordova Invitation Both groups are grateful for all the calls made, emails sent, and postcards signed to ensure they were included in the hearing.

The long-awaited hearing will examine the eligibility requirements for the RECA program to ensure all Downwinders and Uranium Workers receive coverage.  Since Congress first passed RECA in 1990, over $2.25 billion in monetary compensation has been paid to claimants.  https://www.justice.gov/civil/common/reca

Uranium Workers who worked before 1971 are currently eligible to apply for RECA compensation, but those who worked after 1971 are not eligible.  The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 197, extends the eligibility period to December 31, 1990, which would cover many more Uranium Workers.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/197

For the Trinity Downwinders, the eligibility for filing claims related to the July 16, 1945, Trinity Test requires a person to have been physically present in the area “beginning on June 30, 1945, and ending on July 31, 1945,” a 30-day period of time.

Over the years, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium has collected hundreds of health surveys from people who were overexposed to radiation subsequent to the Trinity test and have suffered with cancers and other illnesses related to radiation exposure.  Overexposure to radiation damages genes, causes cancer, and can be passed on to the next generation.

The health surveys completed by the descendants of those who experienced the Trinity test clearly demonstrate that they have inherited the damaged genes as they suffer from the same types of cancer.  https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/health-impact-assessment    

The Trinity Downwinders will testify that the eligibility period must be expanded.  Based on the cancer information obtained from the health surveys, the Trinity Downwinders recommend that the eligibility period should be open-ended.

The Downwinders will also explain how the first atomic bomb test was unlike any other atmospheric test, because it was exploded atop a 100-foot tower creating radioactive fallout never experienced again.

Tina Cordova, a co-Founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, stated, “We’ve been waiting eight years for a hearing.  There will be 10 of us going representing all of New Mexico, from communities like Carrizozo, San Antonio, Socorro, Tularosa, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Pojoaque, Ruidoso and Downwinders who live in Texas and California.  We plan to tell Congress in the best way possible about the suffering and sacrifice that has been endured by so many for the last 73 years.”

For more information and to contribute to the travel costs, please visit swuraniumimpacts.org, trinitydownwinders.com, and nuclearactive.org.

 

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