Nuclear Testing: Governors Request ‘Downwinder’ Compensation
Nuclear testing was done on American soil or in the atmosphere from 1945-1992 and governors of the downwind states, including Colorado, are wanting the compensation for claims made to increase.
The Western Governor's Association sent letters to the US Senate and House of Representatives last week urging them to pass legislation that will change the law regarding those known as "downwinders."
Between 1945 and 1992, over 1,000 nuclear tests were done on land and in the atmosphere, mostly in western states or islands in the Pacific.
The 1990 Radiation and Exposure Act allows for what is called "passionate compensation" for those who were affected by those tests. Initially, it only covered Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, but with the requested change, other western states like Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and the island of Guam.
The proposed changes would increase the amount of a successful claim to $150,000. Currently, the amount is a lump sum payment of $100,000 to uranium workers and $50,000 for those who lived downwind of the Nevada Test Site.
It would also cover those in New Mexico's Tularosa Basin, where the trinity tests were done.
Those who live downwind from those testing sites feel compensation should be equal as one resident of one of the areas affected said:
"Uranium workers knew what they were getting into, residents did not."
Sounds fair to me.