Reid-Bryan sponsor bill to compensate Nevada Test Site workers

WASHINGTON - Sens. Richard Bryan and Harry Reid, both D-Nev., have submitted legislation in the U.S. Senate to compensate employees of the Nevada Test Site and others for health care claims related to work on nuclear weapons programs.

"This legislation recognizes that many workers at the Nevada Test Site were exposed to radiation and other toxic substances which had an adverse impact on their health," said Reid, adding that they deserve compensation for medical costs, loss of income and, in some cases, the death of a loved one.

"For over 40 years, the NTS employed thousands of workers who helped us win the Cold War but were sometimes exposed to dangerous levels of radiation," said Bryan. "It is now time for this country to face the fact that these workers were harmed in this patriotic pursuit and should be compensated for their sacrifice."

The legislation would provide financial compensation to those workers or their survivors. Or some of them could opt for a lump sum of $200,000 plus healthcare benefits in lieu of wage replacement.

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