ContamiNATION: New report examines the unevenness of U.S. radiation compensation regime


Dave Lochbaum, former Director of the Nuclear Safety Project for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and a nuclear engineer by training, has published a new paper ContamiNATION: How the US Nuclear Weapons Program Harmed Thousands of Americans and Why Those Americans Had to Fight for Decades to Receive Compensation for that Undue Harm, examining the radiation exposure compensation regime in the United States. He compares routine releases from nuclear power reactors to atomic bombs detonated at the Nevada Test Site, and points to an uneven system of compensation between and among the many nuclear technology sources that release radiation, whether through explosion of weapons or routinely from power reactors.

He concludes “The right thing would determine whether individuals were harmed by fallout that came down in Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Vermont and other states/counties not within RECA’s umbrella and warrant compensation. The right thing would also permit informed decisions about whether routine releases of radioactivity to the air and water from dozens of nuclear power reactors across the country are, or are not, harming individuals…[and] the right thing would determine whether the synergistic effect of the  contamiNATION has adverse health implications.” (image: U.S. Department of Labor)

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