The Washington state newspaper Tri-City Herald reported yesterday:
A compensation program for ill nuclear workers won key approval Tuesday to ease rules for $150,000 payments to additional Hanford workers or their survivors.
A federal advisory board meeting in Santa Fe, N.M., voted to recommend that the eased rules, which are allowed for groups designated special exposure cohorts, be extended to workers at the site through 1983.
The current special exposure cohort, which allows compensation for workers for about 22 cancers that medical research has linked to radiation exposure, covers Hanford workers who were at the nuclear reservation from Oct. 1, 1943, through June 30, 1972. It also covers Pacific Northwest National Laboratory workers for those years.
The Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health will send its recommendation in support of the expanded special exposure cohort to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, who is expected to approve the recommendation.
The proposed rule change could affect thousands of current and former employees:
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program has received 4,479 claims from ill Hanford and PNNL workers for the years covered by the proposed expansion of the special exposure cohort.
Here’s a link to the Tri-City Herald article: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/06/20/1993458/more-ill-hanford-pnnl-workers.html