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WASHINGTON — A bipartisan coalition of western U.S. Senators has introduced two measures to benefit Americans exposed to airborne radiation during nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) introduced legislation to allow victims in a number of western states to file claims under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). The senators also introduced a Senate resolution marking Jan. 27, 2017, as a national day of remembrance for those affected downwind from the above-ground nuclear weapons testing.

The original RECA program benefited those working with uranium mining and some testing programs, and was later expanded to benefit residents in parts of Utah exposed to nuclear testing. For more than a decade, advocates have endeavored to expand the RECA’s coverage to all Westerners negatively affected by nuclear fallout from weapons testing.

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