Former uranium-mill workers and their survivors are now eligible for government compensation due to radiation exposure. A U.S. Energy Department ruling has increased a list from 3 to 20 mill tailings plants where workers may have suffered illness from the job.
Newly entitled workers from four uranium mill tailings plants in the Four Corners area can now apply for compensation and medical benefits. According to a news release, the U.S. Department of Labor is notifying newly eligible workers at seventeen plants nationwide about potential benefits.
The action follows a decision last month that the Uranium Mill at Shiprock New Mexico falls under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. A subsequent survey identified other plants that met the statutory definition of a controlled radiation facility, dating back to 1942. Three others in Utah, Colorado and Pennsylvania are also due additional benefits for illness claims up to the year 2000.
Closest to home, workers at the following Four Corners plants now qualify under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act:
- In Utah, the Uranium Mills in Monticello, Mexican Hat and Monument Valley.
- In Colorado, nine plants including Western Slope uranium mills at Gunnison, Naturita, Maybell, Rifle, Slick Rock and Durango, and the Climx Uranium Mill in Grand Junction.
- In New Mexico, the Shiprock plant and uranium mill at Ambrosia Lake.