29 Apr 2010

US bill to allow Guam nuclear victims compensation may need reworking

1:03 pm on 29 April 2010

The Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors says US legislation that would enable Guam victims of nuclear weapons test radiation to make compensation claims may need reworking.

The bill in the US Senate would amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to include Guam on the list of affected areas where victims can make claims.

It would allow Guam residents exposed to the tests to claim up to US$150,000 in damages.

People would be eligible if they have any of a list of cancers and defects related to the tests, and if they lived on Guam between 1946 and 1958, or from April to November 1962.

But the Association's president, Robert Celestial, says these dates are somewhat misleading.

"I think we should bring up the fact that the dates they indicated in the bill are detonation dates instead of exposure dates. So that's something interesting that I think I will bring up in Congress when we ever get up to the committee, is that radiation doesn't stop just because you stop detonating."

Robert Celestial