The current law compensates residents in parts of Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Arizona who were downwinders from the Nevada Test Site, but it expires in two years. The new law would extend this compensation to downwinders in New Mexico, parts of Idaho, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, and to uranium workers who joined the industry after 1971. It would also extend the compensation fund to 2045.
Compensating the Downwinders is especially important now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Because of their exposure to radiation from nuclear tests, Downwinders suffer from more preexisting conditions and are more immunocompromised than average Americans. This makes them more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 than other populations.
The Downwinders are the first victims of America’s embrace of nuclear power. They should be compensated fairly for their pain and suffering. Tell your member of Congress to ask Rep. Nadler and Rep. Jordan to schedule a hearing for this bill. You can also ask your members of Congress to become co-sponsors to the bills that have bipartisan support.
We grieve for the victims of the Trinity test. But we can do more. We can start setting things right. Compensating the Downwinders and miners is an essential step in the right direction.
Thanks for all you do,
The NIRS Team