Radiation Exposure Compensation Act [RECA] Law and Legal Definition

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) of 1990 provides compensation to individuals who have contracted cancer or other serious diseases due to their exposure to radiation. The Act covers situation where the disease was caused due to exposure during employment in underground uranium mines or as a result of the nuclear weapon tests.

The Act provides mainly three classes of compensation:

1. for individuals residing or working downwind of the Nevada Test Site, a compensation of $50,000;

2. for workers participating in atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, a compensation of $75,000; and

3. for uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters, a compensation of $100,000.

Persons eligible for compensation under the Act are:

1. uranium miners;

2. uranium millers;

3. ore transporters;

4. downwinders; and

5. onsite nuclear-test participants.

The Act was amended in 2000 and included the uranium mill and ore workers to the list of individuals eligible for compensation.

The RECA is administered by the Department of Justice. The department has established the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program. The program is administered by the civil division of the department.

Claims under RECA are codified at 28 CFR 79.