ProPublica and The Santa Fe New Mexican are investigating health and safety conditions at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, and other Department of Energy nuclear facilities around the country.
The once-secret community of Los Alamos now houses one of the Department of Energy’s largest nuclear weapons sites, employing more than 11,000 people. But health and safety problems have been endemic at Los Alamos, and at other sites, for decades.
Since the end of World War II, people who work at dozens of nuclear weapons laboratories and production facilities have been exposed to radiation and toxic chemicals and have been put at a greater risk of cancer and other diseases. Some people who live around the facilities worry that they, too, may have been exposed. Enhanced federal regulations were developed and implemented at nuclear laboratories to protect workers.
While the Department of Labor has a compensation program for workers who can prove they were made sick at these sites, the program has been criticized for excessive delays and obstacles, such as requests for extensive documentation. Some workers have died while their cases have worked their way through the system.
We want to hear from people who have worked at or with the Los Alamos National Lab, or other national labs around the country. What is it like to work there? We also want to hear from family members and friends who have cared for sick loved ones and have applied for, or accessed, benefits.
We hope this form will help us gain a broader understanding of the issues nuclear workers in Los Alamos and nationally face every day. The more people we hear from, the better our reporting is. If you have any questions, email us at [email protected].