Three Utah members of Congress will hold an informal hearing in St. George April 8 on possible compensation legislation for fallout victims.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Jim Hansen and Rep. Howard Nielson, all R-Utah, plan to discuss ways to write legislation to get around a Supreme Court rejection of the suit by victims of radiation from atomic bomb tests in Nevada in the 1950s and 60s. Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, who was an attorney for the victims, and who has been discussing such legislation with Hatch, will not attend as he will be in the Middle East on an inspection trip for the House Foreign Affairs Committee.Nielson, a former professor of statistics at Brigham Young University, said data on the fallout and cancer rates in southern Utah "show that the rate is much higher in this part of Utah than in the rest of the country. This higher rate may well be the result of nuclear fallout from the Nevada testing."
"Compensation," Nielson said, "has been long overdue. With the recent Supreme Court decision legislation is our only option to allow compensation."
The session will be held in the City Council chambers at 175 E. Second North from noon until 3 p.m.