Compensation for Sick Miners

Friday, March 28, 2008

Since 1990, uranium workers and people who live downwind of nuclear weapons test sites have received compensation from the federal government for uranium-related diseases.

1971: Federal standards intended to protect uranium miners from dangerous exposure are passed.

1990: Congress passes the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, allowing payments for health problems related to nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining before 1971.

2000: The program runs out of money; miners reportedly die "with IOUs in hand." Emergency funds are later procured.

2000: Payment for miners is increased from $100,000 to $150,000.

2005: "Post-'71" miners charge that the federal government withheld a study indicating they too should be compensated.

2007: $577 million in payouts have been made to Navajo uranium workers.

SOURCES: Justice Department, staff reports

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