Saturday, August 31, 2002

Plan to aid sick nuclear workers may not compensate all

By Nancy Zuckerbrod
The Associated Press

        WASHINGTON - Sick nuclear weapons workers say a new federal program aimed at compensating them for on-the-job exposure to toxic substances will leave many without the help they need, and they want Congress to do something about it.

        Under the program, the Energy Department will reverse a decades-old policy and help people who worked for contractors at government weapons plants file for assistance under the nation's state worker compensation programs.

        Energy Department plants are located in Ohio, Nevada and Washington.

        Workers exposed to toxic substances, such as asbestos and harsh chemicals, were not included in a year-old program in which the government agreed to compensate nuclear workers sickened by cancer-causing radiation or silica and beryllium, which cause lung problems.

        Circumstances at roughly half the nation's nuclear facilities could still make it extremely difficult for the Cold-War-era workers to get help.

        The Energy Department has no authority to pay the claims outright, because the workers were not technically federal employees.


Malls stake claim to suburbs
Accused held on $50M bond in kids' deaths
CAA capitulation prompts resignation
Sex abuse charges total 65
Federal grant pays for 45 more city officers
Leaders getting into groove
No extension deadline set in search for police overseer
Obituary: Rudolph Maxwell Jr., former radio announcer
Singer leaves a bitter Taste
Tristate A.M. Report
Faith Matters
GUTIERREZ: For blacks only
MCNUTT: Neighborhoods
Man gets 3 years in sex case
Meeting set on Enquirer's special West Chester pages
OxyContin suit may be tried in Butler
Pursuit ends in deadly crash
$2 million prize saves day for factory worker
New drug policy likely on ballot
- Plan to aid sick nuclear workers may not compensate all
Charge brought in 1998 killing
Jet crashes at end of runway, 1 killed
Old Timers Day Festival today
Watts stumps for Davis campaign