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Senate Honors Nuclear and Uranium Workers With National Day of Remembrance
Date:5/28/2009

House expected to pass companion resolution recognizing sacrifices made by nuclear weapons and uranium workers who risked their lives serving their country during the Cold War

DENVER, May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved a resolution designating October 30, 2009, a national day of remembrance for uranium and nuclear weapons workers who served their country during the Cold War Era. The House is expected to pass a companion resolution.

Cold War Patriots, a non-profit organization advocating for nuclear weapons complex workers, launched a campaign to honor workers in March 2009. Over the past six decades, these individuals made the country's nuclear deterrent possible. Many workers developed disabling or fatal illnesses because of exposure to radiation and toxic substances while producing and testing nuclear weapons. Cold War Patriots organized volunteers who traveled the country with a 40-foot petition and held public awareness events at nuclear weapons complex sites.

"America's nuclear deterrent would not be possible without these unsung heroes," said Dr. Maureen Merritt, retired physician and member of the Cold War Patriot's Advisory Committee.

Background

During the Cold War, more than half a million people worked to build the U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons. In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed an act to compensate people who had been harmed. The Department of Labor program gives cash and medical aid to workers who became ill after being exposed to radiation or toxic substances.

Since 2000, the program has paid $4 billion to 42,000 workers and their survivors. But Labor Department statistics show three out of four applicants have been denied.

The program covers 318 facilities in 37 states. Many facilities have high levels of exposure and sickness, however, significant exposure has happened for uranium workers in the 4 corners area, and nuclear workers in OH, TN, and CO

Cold War Patriots is the first national network connecting nuclear workers and uranium miners with information needed to process their claims. The organization's advisory committee includes workers, physicians and attorneys.

Membership in Cold War Patriots is free to current and former nuclear weapons workers, uranium miners, millers, and haulers, as well as other individuals, family members or professionals that support the Cold War Patriot mission. For more information visit www.coldwarpatriots.org or call 888-903-8989.


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SOURCE Cold War Patriots
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