Cold War Patriots News
- May 15, 2013Former Cotter Corp. workers informed of potential benefits
The below article was written by the Canon City Daily Record. View the source article here.
Former Cotter Corp. workers informed of potential benefits
By RACHEL ALEXANDER alexanderr@ canoncitydailyrecord.comcanoncitydailyrecord.com
Posted: 05/14/2013 09:47:37 PM MDT
Cold War Patriots representative Ron Elmlinger speaks at a town hall meeting for anyone who worked around uranium at the Cotter Uranium Mill Tuesday at the Garden Park High School. ( Jeff Shane/ Daily Record)
For those who have become ill after working at uranium mills or mines as haulers in the nuclear weapons industry, there are two federal government program that provide medial benefits.
Representatives from Cold War Patriots and the Killian & Davis law firm provided information Tuesday to former Cotter Corp. workers about how to take advantage of the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
“All we do is try to help you,” said CWP outreach representative Ron Elmlinger said. “Our main goal is to help people understand these programs.”
CWP was organized is a nationwide nonprofit organization of nuclear weapons complex and uranium workers. The group provides information to workers and lobbies to improve programs nationwide.
“You were exposed to radiation and toxic substances for the soul purpose of keeping this country free,” Elmlinger said. “Everybody in here is proud of what they did. You were just as much a patriot as people fighting in Vietnam and World War II.”
Elmlinger explained the benefits provided by the RECA and EEOICPA programs, which include up to $150,000 and free medical care for qualified people.
In order to qualify for the programs, individuals must have worked in a uranium mine, mill or hauler for at least one year prior to Dec. 31, 1971. They must suffer from primary lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumoconiosis, cor pulmonale, silicosis or a kidney illness (for millers and haulers only).
Jennifer McCall, of Killian & Davis, explained an amendment working its way through Congress that would, among other things, extend benefits to those who worked at mills and mines from 1972 to 1990.
“No law is perfect, and we want to continue making it better for you patriots,” Elmlinger said. “The (Department of Labor) and (Department of Justice) has taken the responsibility for putting you in harms way while you were being that patriot building our nuclear arsenal.”
Elmlinger and McCall emphasized that the process for the benefits is not easy and can be frustrating, but there are people available to provide assistance.
Also provide information about in-home nursing services, which the government program will provide for, was Brittnie Munson of Professional Case Management.
For more information about the nursing services, call 888-886-2281, ext. 323, or email email@example.com.
- April 26, 2013A final toast for the Doolittle Raiders-A CNN Story
CNN featured a moving story on the remaining Dolittle Raiders. We hope you enjoy.
- April 26, 2013Former Mound Scientists to be inducted into Hall of Fame
News from the Mound Science & Energy Museum. View a PDF here.
Former Miamisburg Mound Scientists to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame
Two distinguished scientists from the Dayton area, John H. Birden (1918-2011) and Kenneth C. Jordan (1929-2008), will be included in the 2013 National Inventors Hall of Fame induction, on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in Alexandria, Virginia.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame is the premiere non-profit organization in America dedicated to honoring legendary inventors whose innovations and entrepreneurial endeavors have changed the world.
John Birden and Ken Jordan will be honored for their work at Monsanto’s Mound Laboratory, in Miamisburg, Ohio, in developing the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG), a self-contained power source that obtains its power from radioactive decay. Their invention was patented in 1959. Mound fueled RTGs have powered most of the spacecraft and planetary probes the United States has launched into deep space, where the sun’s intensity is not sufficient to generate electricity with solar cells. These space projects included electrical power for the instruments placed on the Moon by Apollo astronauts (SNAP or Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power), Pioneer (planetary exploration), Voyager (study of the planetary systems of Jupiter and Saturn), Viking (Mars surface), Ulysses (exploration of the Sun), Galileo (exploration of Jupiter and its moons) and Cassini (exploration of Saturn and its moons).
The efforts of Birden and Jordan will be recognized with 15 other inventors in this year’s induction ceremonies. The National Inventors Hall of Fame was founded in 1973, and with the honorees of 2013, there will be a total of 487 members enshrined. Other inventors from the Dayton area already inducted into the Hall of Fame are Wilbur and Orville Wright, and Charles F. Kettering.
For a closer look at the works of John Birden and Ken Jordan, visit the MOUND SCIENCE AND ENERGY MUSEUM, (MSEM), located at 1075 Mound Ave., Miamisburg, Ohio. MSEM has on exhibit an array of RTG models representing the work performed at Mound Laboratory in support of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space programs.
Museum hours are: Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00 PM and Saturdays, 9:00 AM-12:00 Noon.
- April 24, 2013RECA Expansion Bill Reintroduced
A bill has been introduced by a bi-partisan group of Senators which would expand coverage for uranium workers and those downwind of nuclear tests. Please see below to read a press release from Senator Mark Udall’s office (CO), or view a PDF of the Press Release.
April 19, 2013
Udall, Bipartisan Group of Senators Reintroduce RECA Amendments Act
Bill Would Expand Relief for Americans Sickened by Radiation Exposure
Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) joined with Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and a bipartisan group of senators today to introduce legislation to expand restitution for Americans sickened from working in uranium mines or living downwind of atomic weapons tests. April 19, 2013 is the 24th anniversary of the introduction of the original Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) in the U.S. Senate.
Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) also joined Udall in reintroducing the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Amendments of 2013.
Among other things, the RECA Amendments of 2013 would build upon previous RECA legislation by qualifying post 1971 uranium workers for compensation; equalizing compensation for all claimants to $150,000; expanding the downwind exposure area to include seven states downwind of the Nevada and Trinity Test Sites; and funding an epidemiological study of the health impacts on families of uranium workers and residents of uranium development communities.
“We must never forget the heavy price that thousands of Americans paid during the Cold War-era nuclear arms race,” Mark Udall said. “During that time, many Coloradans and other Americans were exposed to radiation in uranium mines and nuclear-weapons facilities, and they have spent decades struggling with an array of health problems, including cancer. This bill will ensure those Coloradans and other Americans get the help they need and deserve.”
“We have seen the heartbreaking effects of those who sacrificed their health and lives by working or living near uranium mines and nuclear test sites in the mid-20th century,” Tom Udall said. “Many Americans unwittingly paid the price for our national security, and unfortunately, some victims fell through the cracks in the original legislation. Expanding RECA will provide these individuals with recognition so that they can receive the much needed compensation they deserve.”
“Throughout history, New Mexico has made major contributions to our country’s national security and energy needs, including communities across the state that were central to the mining and processing of uranium,” Heinrich said. “But we’ve neglected our duty to the workers and miners and those living near uranium mines and nuclear test sites whose health have been gravely impacted, and it’s critical that they be compensated for their suffering.”
“Communities and individuals that have been adversely affected by our nation’s nuclear weapons programs must be justly and sufficiently compensated by the federal government,” Crapo said. “Passage of this bipartisan legislation is crucial in ensuring Idahoans get the care they need.”
“This bill once again seeks a fair resolution for those people impacted by the nuclear testing program, just as others in surrounding states have been provided. Idahoans deserve the same care and compensation because of the identical health effects,” Risch said.
“During the Cold War, thousands of Coloradans served our country by working to build the nation’s nuclear arsenal. We now know that through no fault of their own, they were not properly protected from harmful radiation exposure,” Bennet said. “We’re working in a bipartisan way on behalf of those workers, their families and others who have suffered over many years. Addressing this wrong is the right and just thing to do.”
Specifically, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2013 would:
- Extend compensation to employees of mines and mills employed after Dec. 31, 1971. These are individuals who began working in uranium mines and mills after the U.S. stopped purchasing uranium, but failed to implement and enforce adequate uranium mining safety standards. Many of these workers have the same illnesses as pre-1971 workers who currently qualify for RECA compensation.
- Add core drillers to the list of compensable employees, which currently only includes miners, millers and ore transporters.
- Add renal cancer, or any other chronic renal disease, to the list of compensable diseases for employees of mines and mills. Currently, millers and transporters are covered for kidney disease, but miners are not.
- Allow claimants to combine work histories to meet the requirement of the legislation. For example, individuals who worked for a short time in a mill and for a short time in a mine would be able to add those period of time up to meet the work history eligibility requirements for compensation. Currently, the Department of Justice makes some exceptions for this, but the policy is not codified in law.
- Make all claimants eligible for an equal amount of compensation, specifically $150,000, regardless of whether they are millers, miners, ore transporters, onsite employees, or downwinders.
- Make all claimants eligible for medical benefits. Currently, only miners, millers and ore transporters can claim medical benefits through the medical expense compensation program.
- Recognize radiation exposure from the Trinity Test Site in New Mexico, as well as tests in the Pacific Ocean.
- Expand the downwind areas to include all of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah for the Nevada Test Site; New Mexico for the Trinity Test Site; and Guam for the Pacific tests.
- Allow the use of affidavits to substantiate employment history, presence in affected area, and work at a test site. Current legislation only allows miners to use affidavits.
- Return all attorney fees to a cap of 10 percent of the amount of the RECA claim, as was mandated in the original 1990 RECA legislation.
- Authorize $3 million for five years for epidemiological research on the impacts of uranium development on communities and families of uranium workers. The funds would be allocated to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to award grants to universities and non-profits to carry out the research.
- Allow in the miners, millers, core drillers, and ore transporters to file a Special Exposure Cohort petition within the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). Other DOE workers are currently allowed to file such petitions for compensation when claims are denied and there is not enough information for NIOSH to do dose reconstruction to determine the impacts of exposure.
Click HERE to access the text of the legislation.
Please contact Mike Saccone at 202-224-4334.
- November 14, 2012DOE Recognizes National Day of Remembrance
The Department of Energy was instrumental in helping orchestrate the 2012 National Day of Remembrance. They’ve posted a touching tribute to the celebrations here:
Please view the link and photos of the events.
- November 6, 2012Medina Special Exposure Cohort Status 1958 to 1966
My San Antonio recently released this article with an update on Medina’s Special Exposure Cohort status. Please click here for original article.
A new class of workers who worked at San Antonio’s Medina Modification Center and later became ill may be eligible for compensation and medical benefits.
Decades ago, the Modification Center was part of the Medina Base at Lackland AFB where disassembly/modification work was done on nuclear weapons. Those workers who were employed there may have been exposed to radiation or other carcinogens.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday that employees of the U.S. Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked at Medina from 1958 through 1966 for at least 250 days are now included in the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
The law provides compensation and medical benefits to workers who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry. Survivors of qualified workers also may be entitled to benefits.
A worker who is included in a designated SEC class of workers, and who is diagnosed with one of 22 specified cancers, may receive a “presumption of causation” under the law.
For more information on the SEC or to make an appointment for claim-filing assistance, call 866-272-3622. To date, 47 Medina claimants have received $5.3 million in compensation and medical benefits under the law.
- November 5, 2012Naturita CO Uranium Drive-In sign restored.
The Watch recently released this update on the Uranium Drive-In sign restoration project in Naturita CO. Please click here for full text.
NATURITA – Six months ago, the Town of Naturita is spearheaded a plan to refurbish and resurrect its historic Uranium Drive-in movie theater sign. Owned by the town, the sign had been exposed to the elements, face down in a field, for more than three decades.
The Uranium Drive-In opened in Naturita in 1950; by 1970, more than a thousand people lived in the thriving uranium-mining community; its drive-in movie theater was a community treasure, but it closed in the mid-80s, when the uranium boom ended.
Now the sign is back, thanks to an online fundraising campaign that raised the necessary $10,000 for survey and restoration work. Over 100 contributors nationwide donated sums ranging from $5 to $1,000; local businesses pitched in as well, with everything from time and materials to help with moving the sign. The restoration committee for the historic Uranium Drive-in Sign, led by Naturita Mayor Tami Lowrance, invites the community to celebrate the sign’s restoration and installation in its new home. The sign will now sit near Blondie’s Drive-In & Cafe, in downtown Naturita, off Colorado State Highway 141.
- November 5, 2012More than 800 claims for ill Hanford workers to get new look
The Tri-City Herald released an update about Hanfords recent Special Exposure Cohort status. Please click here for original link.
More than 800 previously denied or pending claims for ill Hanford workers are being reconsidered or put on a fast track for a decision after federal compensation rules were recently eased.
All those claims are for cancers covered by a newly designated special exposure cohort for workers at Hanford from July 1972 through 1983. Workers received that designation if inadequate information existed to estimate their radiation exposure.
The classification allows workers or their survivors to claim $150,000 in compensation plus medical coverage without an estimate showing they received enough radiation to likely cause the cancer. They also may be eligible for up to an additional $250,000 for impairment and wage loss.
Workers at Hanford before June 30, 1972, already were covered by the eased rules.
Tuesday, the Department of Labor held morning and evening town hall meetings in Pasco to provide more information on compensation programs for ill Hanford workers, with about 80 people attending the morning session.
To be eligible for compensation without an estimate of the radiation dose received, workers must have spent 250 days working at Hanford. If they have fewer days, the time may be combined with work at another site covered by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.
Workers at the 700 Area, now the Federal Building in Richland, must show they spent 250 days out of the office and at Hanford.
Preliminary decisions already have been made on some of the 800 previously denied claims for workers from July 1972 through 1983, said Carol Campbell, Department of Labor unit branch chief.
Letters were sent out to those with claims being reviewed. However, some people at the Pasco meeting Tuesday said they thought their claim was eligible for the new eased rules but they had not been notified their case was being reconsidered. They were told to check with the Hanford Resource Center.
The cancers covered by the eased rules include bone cancer, renal cancer, some leukemias, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, some lymphomas and primary cancer of the thyroid, breast, esophagus, stomach, pharynx, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary bladder, brain, colon, ovary or liver.
There are some restrictions for some of the cancers. For example, liver cancer may not be covered if hepatitis B was a factor.
The eased rules for workers also should help those who develop cancer in the future qualify for compensation.
The Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, which recommended that rules be eased for Hanford workers through 1983, will review whether easing rules for more recent workers also should be considered.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health experts have not identified any reason that radiation exposure cannot be accurately estimated for later workers, said Sam Glover, a NIOSH research health scientist. However, NIOSH experts are keeping an open mind and will work with the board, he said.
The rules were eased for Hanford workers from July 1972 to 1983 because workers’ internal exposure to neptunium, thorium, uranium 233 and highly enriched uranium could not be adequately estimated.
Hanford produced plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program from World War II through the Cold War. Other specialized research and production work with radioactive materials also was done at Hanford.
The compensation program has paid out $776 million in compensation and medical benefits to Hanford workers or their survivors. In addition, the program has paid almost $140 million to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory workers or their survivors.
For more information, including to check on the status of a claim or to file a claim, call the Hanford Resource Center at 946-3333 or 888-654-0014. Even if workers don’t have one of the 22 cancers covered by the eased rules, they still may be eligible for compensation. Claims also may be filed for diseases other than cancer caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals or radiation at Hanford if they resulted in wage loss or impairment.
- November 5, 2012National Day of Remembrance honors former nuclear weapons workers
WBIR.com released this story about the National Day of Remembrance. Please click here for original text.
The Cold War Patriots met in Oak Ridge Tuesday for the fourth annual National Day of the Remembrance.
The non-profit works with Congress every year to dedicate October 30th to remember the contributions of thousands of nuclear weapons workers, many of whom were civilians.
“Unfortunately when you work around plutonium, uranium, cadmium, heavy metals, a percentage of workers are always going to come down with certain illnesses that are work related. Many of those folks have actually given their lives, unintended perhaps, for the service of our country,” said Tim LeRew of the Cold War Patriots
The Day of Remembrance began in 2009. Both Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Jimmy Duncan were guest speakers at the event.
- November 5, 2012National Day of Remembrance will honor former SRS nuclear weapons workers
The Aiken Standard recently released this article. Please click here for the original story.
For the fourth consecutive year, Congress has enacted a Day of Remembrance set aside to recognize the hundreds of thousands of workers who have served to build America’s nuclear defense and its security stronghold from World War II through the Cold War.
The congressional designation of Oct. 30 as the fourth annual National Day of Remembrance clearly demonstrates the respect and admiration of our country’s leaders for America’s nuclear weapons program workers.For this community, this annual occasion is intended to specifically honor the best and brightest pioneers, present-day achievers and future leaders of the Savannah River Site for their legacy of patriotism and contributions in protecting our country.
For six decades, SRS has served as a major cornerstone of America’s national defense infrastructure.
In the early years, DuPont weapons workers came to Savannah River Plant day after day, toiling long hours in secrecy to develop and deploy new nuclear technologies at scales not previously demonstrated by mankind. Their unequalled investments, extreme personal sacrifices and creation of untold innovations helped end World War II and win the Cold War.
It was the dedicated service, bold contributions and pioneering efforts of these SRP patriots that went on to establish the United States as a leader in science, technology and engineering and the Savannah River Site as a model of national commitment.
Today, the men and women of the Savannah River Site continue in that tradition of excellence and service by putting nuclear knowledge to work to fulfill ongoing missions of national importance while also paving the way for Enterprise SRS, the vision for acquiring new missions and creating a sustainable future for the site.
The success of the site’s future is reliant on its past performance and proud heritage founded on innovation, nuclear materials knowledge and one-of-a-kind capabilities and infrastructure.
As the legacy of service of past, present and future nuclear weapons workers is celebrated across the United States today, undeniable gratitude is also bestowed to the many families from this area who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of patriotism to give up homes and farms in 1950 to make way for the Savannah River Plant.
Since the first National Day of Remembrance in 2009, SRS has sought to recognize and memorialize the contributions of SRS nuclear weapons workers annually each October.
Tributes include celebrations and programs for both current SRS employees and retirees and placement of a special commemorative marker at SRS on prominent display to employees and visitors.
Most recently, SRS participated in legacy projects sponsored by the Cold War Patriots organization, a nonprofit organization serving as an advocacy group for nuclear weapons program workers.
On this historic 2012 National Day of Remembrance, the Department of Energy renews with the community and nation to honor the sacrifice, service and patriotism of the esteemed Cold War patriots of the Savannah River Site.