Push To Expand Radiation Exposure Compensation

New Mexico – A bipartisan group of U.S. senators from western states wants to expand federal compensation for people who became ill from working in uranium mines, living near debris left from mining or living near atomic tests from the 1940s to the 1960s.

The measure, introduced Monday, would broaden who's eligible for compensation, expand the downwind exposure area to include seven states and fund a study of health impacts on families of uranium workers and people living near uranium development.

Senate staffers could not say how many people might potentially be covered by the proposed amendments to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, RECA.

The bill also would add all of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Utah in areas defined as downwind from atomic tests.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.