U.S. senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker today released a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao urging “appropriate compensation and medical benefits” for former nuclear weapons workers now suffering from radiation-related illnesses.
“We should be treating our Cold War veterans with the same respect that they have treated our country,” the letter states of former employees at the Y-12 plant at Oak Ridge, and other facilities, who became ill because of their exposure to nuclear and other toxic materials.
The full text of the letter is below:
March 14, 2007
The Honorable Elaine L. Chao
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Madam Secretary,
Many of my constituents have expressed strong concerns after reading the enclosed article, “Records: Feds sought limits for ill weapons workers,” which ran in the Knoxville News Sentinel on March 13, 2007.
I have been a strong proponent of providing our Cold War veterans and their families appropriate compensation and medical benefits as quickly as possible. We should be treating our Cold War veterans with the same respect that they have treated our country and their employment, which is why I joined as a cosponsor of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act (EEOICPA) Reform Act of 2004 to fulfill the intent of the original law enacted in 2000.
I would appreciate if you could help me to sort out the troubling allegations contained in this article, so I can better understand the Department of Labor’s commitment to our Cold War veterans to ensure that the EEOICPA program is working as Congress intended.
Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker