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Compensation for Sick Miners

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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.

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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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