U.S. senators Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, and Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, on Thursday reintroduced a bipartisan plan to create an independent advisory panel to help Cold War workers from Oak Ridge and other nuclear weapons facilities get the help they need to treat cancer and other illnesses they developed as a result of exposure to radiation, a press release said.
“The panel would oversee the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, which has been plagued by procedural inconsistencies and delays, preventing former nuclear workers from accessing the benefits they are owed,” the release said.
It said about 600,000 workers were unknowingly exposed to radioactive and toxic substances while employed at U.S. atomic weapons program facilities during the Cold War era. Because of this exposure, thousands of Americans now have developed debilitating—and often terminal—diseases. [Read more…]