Bennett Backs Bill Halting Nuclear Testing Without Congressional Approval

Bennett Backs Bill Halting Nuclear Testing Without Congressional Approval

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- U-S Senator Bob Bennett said today he will introduce legislation that requires congressional approval before nuclear testing could resume.

His bill also requires extensive environmental and safety analysis and public involvement if testing ever does resume.

At least 100 aboveground tests were conducted at the Nevada test site between 1951 and 1962 until atmospheric testing was banned. The nuclear fallout was picked up by jet streams and tracked across the U-S as far east as New York.

Residents of southwestern Utah, northeastern Arizona and southeastern Nevada have long contended that the fallout caused cancers, birth defects and other diseases in their families.

Bennett's measure would also require the appointment of Utah citizens to all related safety boards, additional monitoring stations in any Utah county requesting one, and prompt and open disclosure by the Department of Energy of testing-related activities.

Congressman Jim Matheson has proposed a similar bill in the House of Representatives.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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