Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA): Compensation Related to Exposure to Radiation from Atomic Weapons Testing and Uranium Mining [Updated January 13, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) provides one-time benefit payments to persons who may have developed cancer or other specified diseases after being exposed to radiation from atomic weapons testing or uranium mining, milling, or transporting. Administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ), RECA has awarded over $2.4 billion in benefits to more than 37,000 claimants since its inception in 1990. The RECA program is scheduled to sunset in 2022. RECA benefits are available to the following groups: (1) onsite participants--$75,000 to persons who participated onsite in the atmospheric test of an atomic weapon and developed one of the types of cancers specified in the statute; (2) downwinders--$50,000 to persons who were present in one of the specified areas near the Nevada Test Site during a period of atmospheric atomic weapons testing and developed one of the types of cancers specified in the statute; and (3) uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters--$100,000 to persons who worked in mining, milling, or transportation of uranium between 1942 and 1971 and developed one of the types of diseases specified in the statute. The RECA statute was last amended in 2000. Since then, Congress has frequently considered legislation to expand the downwinder-eligibility area by making persons who were affected in other states during periods of atmospheric atomic weapons testing eligible for benefits and by allowing uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters to qualify for benefits based on work after 1971. However, an expansion of the downwinder-eligibility area is not supported by a congressionally mandated National Research Council report on atomic test fallout, and the inclusion of post-1971 uranium work, which was largely for commercial rather than governmental purposes, is not consistent with the program's stated intent."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43956
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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