Program to Compensate Nev. Nuclear Workers Takes Effect

Former Nevada Test Site workers and Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid are welcoming the start of a long-sought program to compensate workers for illnesses linked to below-ground nuclear weapons testing.

Reid issued a statement calling the start of a Special Exposure Cohort measure “a tremendous victory” for ill former test site workers and survivors.

The program pays $150,000 to $400,000 plus medical benefits under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.

The new measure is significant because it grants special status to former workers or their survivors who previously had to provide dose reconstruction data to prove compensation claims.

Former Nevada Test Site worker John Funk heads the nonprofit Atomic Veterans and Victims of America. He has spent 10 years fighting for the measure.