Summary: S.1865 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1865. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (10/09/1979)

Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1979 - Makes the United States liable for: (1) damages arising from certain nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site to individuals who resided in the affected area for a period of one year between January 1, 1951, and October 31, 1958, or between June 30, 1962, and July 31, 1962; (2) damages to individuals who worked in a uranium mine in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, or Utah for at least one year between January 1, 1947, and December 31, 1961; and (3) damages to a qualified sheep herd.

Establishes in any action filed under this Act, upon a determination by the court that the plaintiff meets the requirements of the Act, an irrebuttable presumption that the damages alleged were caused by exposure to radiation as a result of a nuclear detonation or exposure to uranium. Limits the amount of attorney fees which can be received with respect to such actions.

Defines "affected area" to mean specified areas of Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, and any other area of the United States which received a high level of fallout as a result of the Nevada Test Site detonations, as determined by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Establishes within the National Cancer Institute a seven-member Advisory Panel on the Health Effects of Exposure to Radiation and Uranium to identify, for the purposes of recovery under this Act, types of cancer which develop after exposure to low level radiation and diseases and illnesses which develop after uranium mine employment. Directs the Advisory Panel to report its findings to Congress within nine months of the date it convenes.

Amends title III of the Public Health Service Act (General Powers and Duties) to direct the Secretary to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the adverse health effects resulting from the Nevada Test Site atomic weapons test program since January 1, 1951.

Transfers to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare all functions of the Department of Energy relating to research on the health effects of radiation on human beings.