Report: State to Compensate Dimona Workers Over Cancer

YERUSHALAYIM -
Dimona
View of the nuclear reactor in Dimona, southern Israel. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The state has agreed to compensate 170 workers of the Dimona nuclear facility in southern Israel who over the years contracted cancer. Some of the workers have passed on, but were part of a long-running lawsuit against the state demanding that it recognize the workers as victims of radiation sickness contracted on the job that led to their cancer, Channel Two reported.

The struggle by cancer victims to get the state to recognize them as victims has been ongoing for more than 20 years. Under the deal reached with the state, the workers will receive compensation, but will not attribute their diseases to working in the plant. The agreement to compensate workers comes after nearly four years of work by a state committee appointed in 2013 by then-Justice Minister Tzippy Livni on the matter, chaired by High Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin and including scientific and medical experts.

In a recent report, Channel Two said that a senior staff member at the plant had submitted to the committee documents which “clearly showed” that the cancers were the result of radiation the workers suffered on the job. The staff member was questioned by a security committee on the matter. He told Channel Two that while he was not fired, management suppressed his advancement in the organization, and he was subject to ridicule among senior staff members.

Besides claims for workers at the nuclear plant at Dimona, the committee has been investigating claims of workers at other nuclear facilities, such as the one in Nachal Soreq near Beit Shemesh. Details of the claims are being kept secret because of the various sensitive security issues they bring up, Channel Two said.