Western governors want nuclear testing compensation expanded
Western governors say atmospheric nuclear weapons testing exposed more states and more people to radiation fallout and resulting cancers and other diseases than the federal government recognizes.
The Western Governors' Association on Friday sent letters to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House urging passage of proposed changes to a law involving "downwinders."
The changes would add all of Nevada, Arizona and Utah, and include for the first time downwinders in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and the island territory of Guam.
The changes to the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act would also include increasing the maximum payment to $150,000 for someone filing a claim.
The U.S. between 1945 and 1992 conducted more than 1,000 nuclear weapons tests, nearly 200 in the atmosphere.