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Downwinders from nuclear test radiation exposure may receive more relief

Downwinders, or victims of radiation exposure from a nuclear test in Nevada decades ago, have been passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and compensated under measures headed to the desk for the signature of President Joe Biden. May continue to receive.

A law that extends the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act will maintain support until 2024. It was scheduled to expire in July this year, but the extension was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Beyond Nevada, many Utah residents and members of Native American tribes have been exposed.

How did the Utah Republican delegation react? “Last week, when we celebrated the life of Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah), I remember how hard he worked to establish the RECA program in 1990,” said R-Utah Rep. John Kourtis. I did.

Hatch, the nation’s longest serving senator, died on April 23 At the age of 88.

“The two-year extension is a step in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to improve the program to help those affected by the failure of the federal government,” Curtis said. I added. “I promise to work with his colleagues to make improvements that have long been postponed for Utah’s uranium miners and downwinders.”

Congressman Kristen Stewart, R-Utah, says:

“For years, the federal government has conducted nuclear tests in Utah’s backyard,” Stewart said. “Thousands of Utines were infected with radiation exposure simply by living downwind of the test site. And today, thousands of” downwinders “and their families are still suffering from irreversible radiation damage. .. … it will be difficult to find family and friends in our state that are not affected by this tragedy. The consequences of a nuclear arms race cannot be wiped out under the rug of history. “

Republican Rep. Burgess Owens said that between 1945 and 1962, the United States conducted more than 100 ground-based nuclear weapons tests (and nearly 1,000 underground tests), releasing harmful radioactive material into the air. Literally) said it covered parts of the United States. States, including Utah, carry toxic dust. “

victim: Burgess pointed to Cedar City’s Sara Penny. Her story is “Utah Downwinders “archive.

Owens said in a statement released Wednesday on the house floor that Penny was born in 1953. That same year, a “Dirty Harry” bomb was tested in Nevada.

“She says, and I quote:’We knew we could die at any time from about 5th grade. Our piano teacher’s daughter died of leukemia. No death flow continued. Her grandfather died of leukemia. Her aunt died of breast cancer. Her cousin received a bone marrow transplant from his brother, but died anyway. A high school classmate died early from a brain tumor. Her cousin had breast cancer. Her story is tragic, but it’s not unique, “Owens said.

The role of Senator Mike Leigh: Utah Senator Mike Leigh, R-Utah, sponsored a Senate action that approved it in late April.

“Downstream residents, uranium miners, uranium miners, and ore carriers have been damaged by the federal government and deserve compensation. My colleague has agreed to this important extension and unanimously drafted the bill. I am encouraged that it has passed, “he said.

Since its founding in 1990, RECA has benefited more than $ 2.5 billion to more than 39,000 claimants, according to the company. Congressional Research Service..

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https://www./utah/2022/5/12/23068706/utah-nuclear-testing-downwinders-john-curtis-chris-stewart-nevada-cold-war-radition-exposure-cancer Downwinders from nuclear test radiation exposure may receive more relief

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