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Generations After The First Nuclear Test, Those Sickened Fight For Compensation

Tina Cordova poses in front of the entrance of White Sands Missile Range where Trinity test site is located, near White Sands, New Mexico, on February 21, 2024. Cordova who is one of five generations in her family diagnosed with cancer since 1945, and runs the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. “Wouldn’t it be remarkable if during the Academy Awards, even one of them, any one of them, said, ‘I want to acknowledge the sacrifice and suffering of the people of New Mexico,’” Cordova told AFP. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Generations After The First Nuclear Test, Those Sickened Fight For Compensation

Tina Cordova poses in front of the entrance of White Sands Missile Range where Trinity test site is located, near White Sands, New Mexico, on February 21, 2024. Cordova who is one of five generations in her family diagnosed with cancer since 1945, and runs the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. “Wouldn’t it be remarkable if during the Academy Awards, even one of them, any one of them, said, ‘I want to acknowledge the sacrifice and suffering of the people of New Mexico,’” Cordova told AFP. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Generations After The First Nuclear Test, Those Sickened Fight For Compensation

On August 6, 1945, a stone-faced President Harry Truman appeared on television and told Americans about the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. The attack on Hiroshima marked the first time nuclear power was used in war, but the atomic bomb was actually tested a month earlier in the Jornada del Muerto desert of New Mexico. At least hundreds of New Mexicans were harmed by the test's fallout. Radiation creeped into the grass their cows grazed, on the food they ate, and the water they drank. A program compensating victims of government-caused nuclear contamination has been in place since 1990, but it never included downwinders in New Mexico, the site of the very first nuclear test. This week, the Senate voted to broaden the bi-partisan legislation that could compensate people who have suffered health consequences of radiation testing. Now, the bill will go to a House vote. Generations after the Trinity Nuclear Test, will downwinders in New Mexico finally get compensation? For sponsor-free episodes of Consider This, sign up for Consider This+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org. Email us at considerthis@npr.org. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Tina Cordova poses in front of the entrance of White Sands Missile Range where Trinity test site is located, near White Sands, New Mexico, on February 21, 2024. Cordova who is one of five generations in her family diagnosed with cancer since 1945, and runs the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. “Wouldn’t it be remarkable if during the Academy Awards, even one of them, any one of them, said, ‘I want to acknowledge the sacrifice and suffering of the people of New Mexico,’” Cordova told AFP. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

 

On August 6, 1945, a stone-faced President Harry Truman appeared on television and told Americans about the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima.

The attack on Hiroshima marked the first time nuclear power was used in war, but the atomic bomb was actually tested a month earlier in the Jornada del Muerto desert of New Mexico.

At least hundreds of New Mexicans were harmed by the test's fallout. Radiation creeped into the grass their cows grazed, on the food they ate, and the water they drank.

A program compensating victims of government-caused nuclear contamination has been in place since 1990, but it never included downwinders in New Mexico, the site of the very first nuclear test.

This week, the Senate voted to broaden the bi-partisan legislation that could compensate people who have suffered health consequences of radiation testing. Now, the bill will go to a House vote.

Generations after the Trinity Nuclear Test, will downwinders in New Mexico finally get compensation?

For sponsor-free episodes of Consider This, sign up for Consider This+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices

NPR Privacy Policy

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