New Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
August 7, 2018
By David Fuller
USVCP Staff Writer
New legislation has been introduced that would expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. The bill would amend the current Radiation Exposure Compensation Act with an extension until 19 years after this bill's enactment. The Bill’s trust fund compensates individuals who contract cancer or other diseases as a result of their exposure to radiation during nuclear testing undertaken by the United States during the Cold War.
The bill revises the requirements of that Act, including by:
- Increasing the amount of compensation that an individual may receive;
- Expanding the affected area to include Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and New Mexico;
- Expanding eligibility requirements to include additional individuals, such as certain employees of uranium mines or mills; and
- Extending until 19 years after this bill's enactment the statute of limitations for the filing of claims.
The Act defines specific eligibility criteria within these three broad areas of application:
- Uranium Worker States: the Act covers certain uranium industry employment in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The dates of coverage are from January 1, 1942, through December 31, 1971. A claimant must establish both uranium industry employment that meets the statutory requirements, and a subsequent diagnosis of a specified compensable disease.
- Onsite Participants: the Act covers participation in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device above or within the Pacific Test Sites, the Nevada Test Site, the South Atlantic Test Site, the Trinity Test Site, any designated location within a naval shipyard, air force base, or other official government installation where ships, aircraft or other equipment used in an atmospheric nuclear detonation were decontaminated; or any designated location used for the purpose of monitoring fallout from an atmospheric nuclear test conducted at the Nevada Test Site. A claimant must establish both participation onsite in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device and a subsequent diagnosis of a specified compensable disease. “Atmospheric detonations of nuclear devices” means only those tests conducted by the United States prior to January 1, 1963.