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This Week’s SPECIAL Featured Interviews:
Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was enacted by Congress in 1990 to provide one-time benefits to persons who have likely developed cancer or other specified diseases after exposure to uranium mining, milling or transport, and from radioactive fallout from atomic weapons testing in certain areas of Utah, Nevada and Arizona. But uranium workers after 1971 are not currently eligible for compensation, despite most of the uranium mining production happening after 1971.
An extension of RECA to increase compensation and extend the people to whom it applies is currently being considered, but it has to pass within one year or RECA will completely go away. To understand these issues, I spoke with three activists working on getting the RECA extension passed:
- Mary Dickson is a Salt Lake City journalist and writer whose award-winning play, Exposed, puts a human face on the cost of nuclear testing. She has been recognized by the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility for her lifetime work on behalf of downwinders and regularly speaks out against the resumption of nuclear testing as well as her downwinder information talks. We previously interviewed Mary for Nuclear Hotseat #494, on December 8, 2021. Here, she talks about RECA, what it is, why it’s needed, and what is going to be required to pass it before it expires in 2022. We spoke on Thursday, July 15, 2021.LINKS:
- Contact Mary Dickson: Exposed.Downwinders@gmail.com
- The Downwinders of Utah Archives at the University of Utah Marriott Library – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HzxDhcOA2
Downwinder Sherrie Hanna grew up in Arizona without understanding the consequences to her family and community from radioactive fallout from the 100 Nevada test site above-ground nuclear bomb tests. She is now a Downwinder Advocate, taking it as a personal mission to inform and educate as many people as possible. We spoke on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
- Linda Evers a former uranium miner and is President of the Post 71 Uranium Workers Committee. She worked in uranium mining and production from 1976 to 1982, including during both her pregnancies. As you will hear, her working conditions while a miner were often harrowing, and the resulting consequences for her health and the lives of her two children graphically represent just some of the dangers of radiation exposure. We often speak of the dangers of radiation exposure, but rarely are we allowed to understand the magnitude of that impact and what it means in human terms. Linda allows us a glimpse into that world – and just know, it’s strong stuff. We spoke on Friday, July 16, 2021.
- Petition to Extend Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
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