Since the detonation of the first nuclear bomb in 1945, people who have lived downwind from the Trinity testing site have complained of negative health effects. Members of a nuclear advocacy group from New Mexico will testify in front of a U.S. Senate Committee on Wednesday.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act covers healthcare costs for some former uranium miners, as well as people who lived near or worked in nuclear weapons facilities in certain states between 1945 and 1962.
New Mexico is not one of the states where those who lived downwind of a nuclear facility are eligible for compensation. Tina Cordova with the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium says this is unfair.
“People of New Mexico have been waiting for acknowledgment for their service, because we were engaged in the service of our country through this process. Our world was destroyed, essentially,” Cordova said.
She’s grateful for the opportunity to speak to the committee, Cordova said, but she's frustrated to only have five minutes to talk about 75 years of history.
Members of the advocacy group Post-71 Uranium Workers will also speak at the committee hearing.