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There are over 20 radiation-induced diseases recognized by the US government, when assessing compensation for Atomic Veterans, nuclear downwinders, and uranium miners. Elderly Atomic Veterans with the wrong cancer or illness face an uphill battle for compensation.

The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.Hubert H. Humphrey [1]
Atomic Veterans VA 2012
I was told not to discuss my involvement in nuclear tests because this was classified information… In 1996, The Repeal of Nuclear Radiation and Secrecy Agreements Laws was passed. This law states that Atomic Veterans are free to describe their military involvement in nuclear testing as necessary to establish the validity of a service-connected disability.”[2]

While the US Veterans Administration-DOJ has denied Atomic veteran-claimants, who have the “wrong” sort of cancer, compensation and given these elderly Veterans the run around, in an apparent attempt to deny them the paltry sum which is their due, the US government can find, for 2016 alone, $22.3 billion for foreign aid and $1.9 billion to dump radioactive waste from places like Germany, Sweden and Canada upon America, in the name of non-proliferation.[3] As well, these sums are not even a drop in the bucket of the huge amounts of money spent by the US government for a wide variety of often questionable and dangerous things.

Meanwhile, over the 25 years of existence of the US DOJ Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, the US only gave $2 billion which works out as $80 million per year for Atomic Veterans, down-winders from weapons testing and uranium miners. They have only approved 32,000 of 43,000 who put in a request, according to the USDOJ. This averages out to a pitiful $62,500 per approved claimant. The previous figures, from the US DOJ press release, are slightly different from the table below, where the approval is listed as only 30,300 and thus the amount is $66,023.

Probably the vast majority of those turned down had the wrong sort of cancer. (Of course, the fact that there is a laundry list of approved radiation induced illnesses exposes the lies of the nuclear industry that radiation is good for you!)

The fact that more nuclear downwinders received compensation than exposed Atomic Veterans, suggests a major problem. If only around half of those Veterans at nuclear testing sites, who applied, received compensation, there is a problem. Part of this may be inability to get their records due to secrecy. Part may be because they got things like heart-disease and skin cancer, rather than the right diseases. Apparently an archives fire has played a role, as well.[4]
Nuclear victims US DOJ up to March 2015 http://www.justice.gov/civil/awards-date-03022015

As of October 2004, roughly 18,275 atomic veterans applied for disability compensation, but only 1,875 of these claims were granted,’… ‘Thus, nearly 90 percent of atomic veterans have been denied disability compensation… Altogether, about 210,000 Americans, most of them servicemen, participated in atmospheric nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1962 in the U.S. and over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In addition, about 195,000 servicemen were stationed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where nuclear bombs were dropped in 1945, as part of the post-war occupation of Japan.” Part of the statistical mismatch seems to come from their being 2 programs – one within the US DOJ and one within the VA. [5]
RECA Areas
Even though the map shows only US sites, some foreign sites are included, as long as you have the right diseases: “Onsite Participants: Pacific Test Sites, Nevada Test Site, South Atlantic Test Site, Trinity Test Site, any designated location within a naval shipyard, air force base, or other official government installation where ships, aircraft or other equipment used in an atmospheric nuclear detonation were decontaminated; or any designated location used for the purpose of monitoring fallout from an atmospheric nuclear test conducted at the Nevada Test Site. ‘Atmospheric detonations of nuclear devices’ means only those tests conducted by the United States prior to January 1, 1963.http://www.justice.gov/civil/common/reca

In only one year of US Foreign Aid, which is largely unappreciated and often does more harm than good, the US is to spend 10 times more than in 25 years of compensation for the victims of Atomic weapons testing and uranium mining. With one years worth of foreign aid, divided over the 25 years, they could have given much more and stop giving the run-around to those who have the “wrong” cancer or radiation-induced disease. Just for psychological trauma Atomic Veterans should be compensated; from fearing each day that they may get cancer.

It was recently decided by the ICRP [6] that radiation is worse for your circulatory system and eyes than they claim to have thought, and perhaps for other parts of the body (We haven’t had time to read ICRP 118 yet.) But, these are not on the US lists of the “right” radiation induced diseases. And, neither is skin cancer. Most of the Veterans are elderly. This is truly sick for people to give them the run around.

If radiation was ever good for your eyes then what was the basis for sunglasses with UV protection? To look cool?  And, why have alarmingly high levels of skin exposure to radiation been allowed by the ICRP? How come we are supposed to avoid the sun or wear sun-screen, but it’s ok for your skin to get doused in fallout or to take a bath in radiation laced water? If you are an elderly veteran who got a face full of nuclear fallout and you get skin-cancer it is not covered; you get no compensation! There is a major disconnect here. Sun is bad for you and a face full of radiation from cleaning up airplanes exposed to fallout is OK? And, if you get skin cancer it has nothing to do with it? Even if you live in northern latitudes?

Here is the Press Release regarding the so-called “awards” to the victims:
Monday, March 2, 2015
Justice Department Surpasses $2 Billion in Awards Under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
The Justice Department announced today that it has awarded more than $2 billion in compassionate compensation to eligible claimants under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).

The RECA was enacted in 1990 as a non-adversarial alternative to litigation for individuals who contracted certain illnesses following exposure to radiation as a result of the United States’ atmospheric nuclear testing program and uranium ore processing operations during the Cold War. Congress expanded the scope of the law’s coverage in 2000. In its present form, the RECA provides lump sum compensation awards to individuals who contracted specified diseases in three defined populations: uranium miners, millers and ore transporters who are eligible for $100,000 per claim; participants in atmospheric nuclear weapons tests who are eligible for $75,000 per claim; and individuals who lived downwind of the Nevada Test Site (downwinders) who are eligible for $50,000 per claim.

‘RECA claimants worked in hazardous occupations and were subjected to increased risk of disease to serve the national security interests of the United States,’ said Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. ‘This extraordinary statute provides partial restitution to these individuals and their families for the sacrifices they made during a critical time in our nation’s history.’

Compensation has been awarded to individuals residing in every state. Since 1990, nearly 43,000 claims have been filed and 32,000 claims have been approved. Residents of the Four Corners Region of the American southwest have filed the majority of RECA claims. The department has awarded more than 9,400 claims filed by residents of Arizona, valued at more than $500 million. Approximately 3,800 claims filed by residents of New Mexico have been awarded, valued at nearly $350 million, and approximately 5,800 claims filed by Utah residents have been awarded, valued at approximately $330 million. Colorado residents have received awards in more than 3,200 claims, valued at more than $213 million.

Awards to Native American claimants total approximately $264 million distributed among members of 17 different tribes. The department has awarded more than 2,800 claims filed by members of the Navajo Nation, valued at more than $212 million. In addition, the department has awarded more than $24 million to members of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe and more than $9 million to members of the Apache Tribes.

Since 1990, the department has awarded more than 3,600 claims filed by veterans, civil servants and contractors who participated onsite in atmospheric nuclear tests, valued in excess of $266 million. Nearly $100 million of this compensation was awarded following a surge in claims filed in 2011 and 2012.

‘This benchmark reflects the department’s efforts to help thousands of U.S. citizens reach closure on a unique chapter of our history,’ said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kali N. Bracey of the Civil Division’s Torts Branch. The RECA is administered by the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program, a component of the Constitutional and Specialized Torts Litigation section within the Torts Branch.

The Department of Justice is a part of a broad inter-agency network that includes the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Energy, comprising the comprehensive federal radiation compensation system. Eligibility determinations are routinely coordinated with these agencies.

The RECA will expire on July 9, 2022, and claims received after that date will be barred. Individuals interested in filing a claim may visit the department’s RECA website or contact the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program at 800-729-7327.
15-249 Civil Division Torts (FTCA, Bivens Actions, § 1983, Qualified Immunity)


[1] Remarks at the dedication of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, November 1, 1977, Congressional Record, November 4, 1977, vol 123, p. 37287. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Hubert_Humphrey

[2] The VA Brochure from 2012: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/docs/radiation/atomic-veteran-brochure.pdf

[3] $22.3 Billion for Foreign Aid: http://www.usaid. gov/results-and-data/budget-spending
$1.9 billion so-called nuclear nonproliferation activities proposed for 2016. Thus far, these activities have involved taking the radioactive waste of friendly foreign countries, with less history of terrorists than the US, off of their hands and dumping it on US nuclear sites, such as the Savannah River site, even though the US has no solution for its own waste! http://www.energy. gov/articles/energy-department-presents-fy16-budget-request
In 2013 the Veterans Administration (VA) spent $41.5 billion on general Veterans’ healthcare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Health_Administration_scandal_of_2014
Think of how many injured veterans there are from all of the US wars and that over half of this amount is spent on foreign aid. You can be for or against the wars, but you cannot deny that paying for the medical care of those injured in wartime is part of the contract – not only social contract, but most likely legal contract for volunteer military. Foreign aid has been criticized for decades for causing more harm than good, and even where it does do good, it is generally unappreciated.

[4] http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/fire-1973.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_veteran

[5] “ILL VETERANS WHO HAD RADIATION EXPOSURE NOW CAUGHT IN BUREAUCRATIC WEB“. Mark Reutter, Business & Law Editor, 4/3/2006 CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Veterans suffering from cancers linked to exposure to radiation from atomic test explosions encounter a complex and error-ridden process that routinely denies them disability benefits, a University of Illinois scholar says….http://news.illinois.edu/news/06/0403veterans.html

The VA Brochure from 2012: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/docs/radiation/atomic-veteran-brochure.pdf For more up to date info you will need to go to their web site, as the info changes. The US DOJ’s RECA does not include those who were involved in Hiroshima or Nagasaki or the post war occupation of Japan. This goes through the VA:
Onsite Participant Inquiries
Since 2012, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program has processed an increased number of claims from individuals filing under the Onsite Participant provisions of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Many of those claims were filed by individuals serving in Japan after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; other claims were filed by World War II veterans stationed in the Pacific Theater. Notably, the Act’s coverage is limited to the atmospheric nuclear testing program conducted by the United States that followed the war. Also, the Act only provides compensation for an individual who has contracted a ‘covered’ cancer following their exposure to radiation. / The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a benefits program for service members who participated in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki operations or who were part of the Japanese occupation forces following World War II. More information about that program can be found at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/claims-postservice-exposures-ionizing_radiation.asp
Accepted USDOJ radiation related diseases: http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/civil/legacy/2011/04/22/RECA_Categories_Summary.pdf
See: http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-11-2011/atomic-veterans-special-benefits-radiation-exposure.html And, http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-11-2011/atomic-veterans-special-benefits-radiation-exposure.2.html

[6] Re ICRP 118: “Particular attention is paid to circulatory disease and cataracts because of recent evidence of higher incidences of injury than expected after lower doses; hence, threshold doses appear to be lower than previously considered. This is largely because of the increasing incidences with increasing times after exposure. In the context of protection, it is the threshold doses for very long follow-up times that are the most relevant for workers and the public; for example, the atomic bomb survivors with 40-50years of follow-up.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22925378 Ann ICRP. 2012 Feb;41(1-2):1-322. doi: 10.1016/j.icrp.2012.02.001. “ICRP publication 118: ICRP statement on tissue reactions and early and late effects of radiation in normal tissues and organs–threshold doses for tissue reactions in a radiation protection context.” Authors on behalf of ICRP, Stewart FA, Akleyev AV, Hauer-Jensen M, Hendry JH, Kleiman NJ, Macvittie TJ, Aleman BM, Edgar AB, Mabuchi K, Muirhead CR, Shore RE, Wallace WH.

There is a chance to comment on ICRP 118 to the US NRC until 24 March 2015 https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/20/2014-27519/radiation-protection