Lawmaker: Expand compensation from nuclear weapons testing

July 16, 2019 - 10:06 am

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A compensation program for those exposed to radiation from years of nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining would be expanded under legislation that seeks to address fallout across the western United States, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico is rolling out the measure Tuesday on the 74th anniversary of the Trinity Test.

As part of the top-secret Manhattan Project, government scientists and the U.S. military dropped the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert in 1945. Nearly 200 atmospheric tests followed. Uranium mining persisted even after the tests ceased.

Citing affected downwinders and Native American tribes, Lujan says coverage must be expanded.

Among other things, the measure would require Congress to issue a formal apology to people in a dozen U.S. states.

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