ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In the desert northeast of Las Vegas, residents living along the Nevada-Arizona border would gather on their front porches for bomb parties or ride horses into the fields to watch as the U.S. government conducted atomic tests during a Cold War-era race to build up the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
About 100 of those tests were aboveground, and U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona testified during a congressional subcommittee hearing Wednesday that residents at the time marveled at the massive orange mushroom clouds billowing in the distance.
“They had no idea. They were never told that they were being exposed to dangerous cancer-causing radiation,” Stanton said.
“As a direct result of the radiation exposure from these tests, thousands of Arizonans have suffered from cancer, entire families have suffered from cancer and far too many have died.”
He and others testified as part of a renewed push for compensation from the U.S. government following uranium mining and nuclear testing carried out during the Cold War.
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