Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and "Downwinders" sign now

Background from the United States Department of Justice Website:
On October 5, 1990, Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ("RECA" or "the Act"), 42 U.S.C. 2210 note, providing for compassionate payments to individuals who contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases as a result of their exposure to radiation released during above-ground nuclear weapons tests or as a result of their exposure to radiation during employment in underground uranium mines. The 1990 Act provided fixed payments in the following amounts: $50,000 to individuals residing or working "downwind" of The Nevada Test Site.

When Congress passed this Act, they designated certain areas that would be compensatable to "Downwinder" victims based soley on geographical locations. For the most part, the compensatable "Downwinders" are located to the north and east of the Nevada Test Site, primarily southwestern Utah. Las Vegas, Nevada and the surrounding townships are NOT included in these areas.

During the years of Above Ground Nuclear Testing at the Nevada Test Site, the "shots" were seen, heard and photographed from downtown Las Vegas. There is no science or proof that fallout from these tests did NOT drift into the Las Vegas Valley. In fact it is likely that it did. However, RECA still excludes Las Vegas from any possible compensation.

We think this is ludicrous and immoral. If only due to the close proximity of the Nevada Test Site, residents of the Las Vegas Valley during Above Ground Nuclear Testing were just as likely as the currently designated "Downwinders" to have received lethal doses of radiation fallout, and the RECA Act should be revised to include these victims as well.

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Latonya LiBy:
City LifeIn:
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U. S. Congress

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