As explained in the last column, I have been helping my friend trod through the red tape of government bureaucracies to see if he is eligible for compensation due to his military nuclear exposure. He was stationed at Desert Rock in Nevada for the entire series of explosions, so we are concerned his dosimeter (a measuring device those near the explosions had to wear, that is supposed to record the extent of the wearer’s nuclear exposure) reading may be high. The government says they have dosimeter results on file for all the personnel who were near the explosions.
I have never been in the military, but I have battled with banks to help foreclosure victims try to keep their homes. I can compare the odyssey of nuclear veterans trying to get compensation, to that of foreclosure victims trying to keep their homes. It seems that those who collect information to decide who is compensated are part of a process meant to wear the applicant down, so that he eventually gives up before completing the necessary documentation. If you are looking for something to do for the next year, and have a loved one who was a nuclear veteran, or who was a nuclear veteran and has passed away, you might want to try for the compensation. You will have to obtain proof the veteran was present at a nuclear site by review of his service records, obtain a dosimeter reading, complete application forms for either the Department of Justice, and/or the Veterans Administration, and acquire medical records of the veteran’s illness.
I will provide some of the resources I have used while trying to submit a claim:
Websites for nuclear vets and their families:
Compensation Forms from the Department of Justice:
Government press release about the compensation program:
About radiation health exams available for veterans:
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Diseases Associated with Ionizing Radiation Exposure:
How to File a Claim:
Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Information:
Nuclear Test Personnel Review (NTPR) Program Helpline. 800-462-3683