March 7, 2024

Senator Schmitt Speaks on Senate Floor Urging Passage of RECA for Those Impacted by Manhattan Project Radiation

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt spoke on the Senate floor urging passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Reauthorization Act to compensate those impacted by Manhattan Project nuclear waste:



  • First enacted in 1990 with the support of the late Senator Orrin Hatch and President George H.W. Bush, RECA is a compensation program for Americans who were unknowingly exposed to radiation during the Manhattan Project and later Cold War testing programs.
  • The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) program aims to compensates victims of nuclear radiation from the Manhattan Project.
  • Nuclear waste was improperly stored: at one site in Missouri, the government discarded nuclear waste in leaky barrels in the open air, later contaminating a local creek where thousands of children played over decades. Many of those children now have cancer.
  • Tens of thousands of other Americans were exposed to radiation “downwind” from over 100 atmospheric tests in western States. In most cases, nobody was warned of this danger.
  • The careless dumping of this waste happened across Missouri, including Senator Schmitt’s own backyard of St. Louis, and has negatively impacted these communities for decades.
  • The Radiation Exposure Compensation Reauthorization Act passed Thursday afternoon by a vote of 69–30.