Rocky Flats Plutonium Pit Added for Worker Benefits

Edited from a Press Release

U.S. Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Ed Perlmutter, strong supporters of Colorado's nuclear industry workers, heralded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' approval of a federal board's recommendation to make it easier for affected Rocky Flats workers to qualify for federal assistance under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness and Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). Udall and Perlmutter welcomed the recommendations made by the federal board in October and urged the Department of Health and Human Services to quickly approve it.

Today's decision allows those who worked at Rocky Flats from 1952 to 1983 to qualify for benefits under a "special exposure cohort status." The new classification will alleviate some of the currently burdensome application processes and speed up access to compensation and treatment for health problems stemming from their service.

"Thousands of patriots at Rocky Flats helped our nation win the Cold War. Today's decision ensures that these heroes will be able to more easily access the care and compensation they deserve," Udall said. "I am proud the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services quickly responded to our call — and those of Colorado's Cold War patriots — to act. This is a significant victory for Colorado's nuclear workers."

"This is welcome news for all the workers who risked their lives to protect our nation and helped end the Cold War. For years, Rocky Flats workers fought for the healthcare and compensation they earned during their service working in dangerous conditions on behalf of our nation," Perlmutter said. "I'm glad we've been able to work with the Obama Administration to make sure these workers and their beneficiaries receive the health care and benefits they earned for their unselfish sacrifice to our country."

Udall and Perlmutter sent a letter earlier this year to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health urging it to give "special exposure cohort status" to Rocky Flats workers who were exposed to radioactive and toxic substances during their work at the Cold-War Era plutonium-pit production facilit