More ill Hanford workers could get compensation

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu speaks to more than 500 Hanford workers on Friday, June 15, 2012, at Howard Amon Park in Richland, Wash. (Kai-Huei Yau / AP Photo/The Tri-City Herald)

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A federal advisory board has voted to recommend easing rules for $150,000 payments to ill nuclear workers.

The Tri-City Herald reports that the advisory board voted at a meeting Tuesday to recommend the eased rules.

The current rule allows compensation for about 22 cancers that medical research has linked to radiation exposure. The rule covers workers at south-central Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory who worked from Oct. 1, 1943 through June 30, 1972.

The new rules would extend to workers at the site through 1983.

The board will send its recommendation to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is expected to approve it. Congress would then have 30 days to review the proposal, and it takes effect if there is no action.

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