Help is available to people ranging from the survivors of 1940s workers at the site who developed cancer to current workers submitting compensation claims for exposure to chemical vapors at Hanford.

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Business has been brisk at a new government center in Richland helping current and former ill Hanford workers navigate a complicated system of benefits.

Since it opened a month ago, it has served more than 600 people.

“It already is a success and it has just started,” said Jeff McDaniel, president of the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council, an umbrella group for Hanford nuclear reservation unions.

In one case, the center helped a family find job records for a former union worker, linking his job title to work with possible hazardous chemical or radiation exposures that could have made him ill, said Gail Splett, U.S. Department of Energy program manager.

A manager of the compensation program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor has agreed to take a second look at the case, Splett said.

Help is available to people ranging from the survivors of 1940s workers at the site who developed cancer to current workers submitting compensation claims for chemical-vapor exposure.

Hanford workers produced plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, at the end of World War II, and then for the Cold War nuclear-weapons stockpile.

A federal program has paid $1.75 billion in compensation and medical-care reimbursement for ill Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory workers.