Advocates Fight For Those Sickened By US Nuclear Testing Program on Capitol Hill

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Published on May 16, 2024 - Duration: 01:31s

Advocates Fight For Those Sickened By US Nuclear Testing Program on Capitol Hill

Advocates Fight For Those , Sickened By US Nuclear Testing , Program on Capitol Hill.

On June 7, the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) program is set to expire, ending a lifeline for families sickened by the country's nuclear testing.

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On June 7, the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) program is set to expire, ending a lifeline for families sickened by the country's nuclear testing.

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NPR reports that advocates have gathered on Capitol Hill to fight for so-called atomic veterans and save the RECA program.

Over the past year, multiple bipartisan bills were approved by the Senate to reauthorize and expand the program.

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Those bills stalled out in the House, due to some Republicans objecting to the cost of the program.

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According to sponsors of the bills, those concerns were addressed by reducing the initial 2023 estimate of $143 billion down to between $50 and $60 billion.

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NPR reports that RECA has provided payments up to $75,000 to those sickened by the nuclear testing program, totaling $2.7 billion to over 400,000 recipients.

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One of the groups fighting to have the program extended is the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium.

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The group works to raise awareness of illnesses linked to Trinity, the government's code word for the first nuclear bomb test, which took place in 1945.

Martinez White, a member of the group, says fallout from those tests resulted in at least six cases of cancer in her family of ten.

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I would often go home for funerals and everybody in Tularosa was dying of cancer.

We knew something was very weird.

, Martinez White, Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium member, via NPR.

There's no industry in the whole Tularosa Basin but for White Sands Missile Range, where the Trinity bomb was detonated, Martinez White, Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium member, via NPR


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Capitol Hill

United States historic place and neighborhood of Washington, D.C.


White Sands Missile Range

Military testing area in New Mexico, US


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