Decades later, nuclear workers’ families compensated via TribLIVE News

It took eight years of finding paperwork and waiting on government reviews, but Helen Sobotka, 68, of Springdale got a lump-sum, tax-free payment from the federal government for $150,000.

The government paid the money, which went to her late mother, because her father, Paul “Shorty” Pastierik, died of lung cancer that likely was caused by his work around nuclear weapon components at the former C.H. Schnorr Co. in Springdale.

He was a machinist there from about 1935 to 1954.

Like many workers, Pastierik didn’t know about the dangers of radiation exposure.

The Department of Labor recently sent fliers alerting Springdale residents to the compensation program.

“They do these mailings regularly in many areas,” said Jesse Lawder, a Labor Department spokesman.

C.H. Schnorr provided metal fabrication services for the Manhattan Project — which produced the United States’ atomic bombs during World War II — and machined uranium for the nuclear reactors at the government’s Hanford nuclear research site.

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