Bill in the Works to Provide Assistance for Former Workers at Nuclear Plants Like Rocky Flats

March 30 2009, 9:42 AM
U.S. Senator Mark Udall is planning to introduce legislation that would make it easier for former workers at Rocky Flats--who helped build nuclear bombs during the Cold War--to get health care for working in conditions that made them sick, according to ProPublica. Charlie Wolf, who was stricken with brain cancer and fought the feds for help, but ultimately lost his battle, is the impetus for the legislation. More than 175,000 nuclear industry workers have applied for aid through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program since its creation in 2000, but just 50,000 have received benefits. More than a year ago, Mike Kessler investigated the issue for 5280, noting government loopholes and evasions had left workers in the lurch. There's also the broader historical legacy of the Flats to consider, as High Country News reports.