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Panel to Design Compensation Plan for Nuclear Workers

New committee will recommend how the state can compensate nuclear workers who contracted malignancies.
By David Lev
First Publish: 4/7/2013, 5:03 PM

Dimona plant
Dimona plant
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has appointed members of a new committee that will recommend measures by which the state will compensate workers in Israel's nuclear facilities who have contracted malignant diseases. The committee will be held by retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, and will be made of scientific and medical experts.

In recent years, there have been numerous cases of workers seeking compensation for various diseases, especially cancer, which they claim were contracted as the result of working at one of the country's nuclear facilities. Besides the nuclear plant at Dimona, there are several experimental reactors, such as the one in Nachal Soreq near Beit Shemesh. Most of the cases are still being adjudicated, and during the course of the trials various sensitive security issues have been brought up. The committee will be empowered to hear testimony from expert witnesses, upon which they will base their recommendations, Livni's office said.

In order to avoid the requirement of the courts to present evidence on security matters, the government is seeking to settle with plaintiffs, and the committee will recommend levels of compensation for each type of complaint by workers. Workers will be free to reject the package and take their chances in court, if they wish.

Such compensation packages are common in other countries where nuclear facility workers have sued over health issues, Livni's office added.