Bond Urges Quicker Payments for Nuclear Workers
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – Senator Kit Bond Monday urged the federal government to speed up payments to sickened Cold War nuclear workers and their survivors.
An advisory board of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - or NIOSH - is meeting in St. Louis this week.
Bond wants the agency to give special status to former employees of two local Mallinckrodt plants so they can get immediate compensation.
Right now workers must prove the amount of radiation to which they were exposed.
The Missouri Republican says that's impossible to do, because many company records were lost or destroyed.
"The records aren't there," Bond said. We do know, and many scientists have said, that this was one of the most dangerous places to work with uranium because of the high levels of radiation that they encountered."
About 3,500 workers or their families are eligible for $150,000 each. But so far the government has paid out only 75 claims.