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More ex-Hanford workers may be eligible for money

RICHLAND — More former workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation may be eligible for compensation for developing cancer due to radiation exposure.

Federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has agreed to expand automatic compensation of $150,000 and medical coverage to any Hanford worker who developed a qualifying cancer and who worked for at least 250 days from Oct. 1, 1943, through June 30, 1972.

If Congress does not object, the decision takes effect Jan. 10.

The action was recommended in October by a federal advisory board. Previously, only workers assigned to specific Hanford areas were eligible for compensation.

The new rules cover a list of cancers linked to radiation. Survivors may also file for compensation.

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