Who's eligible for program to compensate job-sickened nuclear workers

By The Associated Press
Associated Press Newswires

A look at who is covered
under the compensation program for job-sickened nuclear workers, according to the law. Successful applicants eventually will receive $150,000 and payment of future medical bills.

Amchitka Island, Alaska

Workers who spent at least 250 work days digging tunnels for
Amchitka's nuclear weapons tests can be among the first to qualify for benefits if they either died from or were disabled by chronic silicosis.
However, the law allows President Bush to delete the tunnel miners from the eligibility list if the administration can certify by April 28 an "insufficient basis" to include them.

Workers employed on Amchitka prior to Jan. 1, 1974, who were exposed to radiation during the Long Shot, Milrow or Cannikin underground nuclear tests can qualify if they died from or are now disabled by one of the following: bone cancer, leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic), multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, esophagus cancer, stomach cancer, pharynx cancer, small intestine cancer, pancreas cancer, bile duct cancer, gall bladder cancer, salivary gland cancer, urinary bladder cancer, brain cancer, colon cancer, or ovary cancer. Lung and liver cancer are covered with certain exceptions.

This group of radiation-injured workers will not have to wait for the Labor Department to write additional eligibility standards; those from most other radiation exposure sites will have to wait while dosages and other factors are considered.