Section 1 of the proposed bill is intended to eliminate those
difficulties. The pertinent section would be amended to achieve the
following principal results:


Geographical Coverage.

Section 102 as it stands has received

from the interested parties and Federal agencies a variety of
interpretations. One non-Federal party contends that the statute and
the foreseen program of comprehensive medical care must extend to all
of the people of the Marshall Islands, on the ground that all islands
and atolls in the Marshall Islands have received at least some
radioactive fallout as a result of the nuclear testing program.
seems to us probable that the Congress did not intend this result.
The bulk of the Marshalls sustained no fallout exceeding that
experienced by the rest of the world's population.
The report submitted to the Congress on January 7, 1981, indicates
that Interior's contractor for the medical plan concluded that a

program covering all of the Marshalls would cost $10.9 million the
first year, and $77 million for the first five-year period. In
addition to this large expense, such a program would, further, raise
fundamental questions of fairness. It would seem inequitable for the

United States to provide full medical care for all of the people of

the Marshalls, most of whom have suffered from no more than the same
fallout as have the people elsewhere in the Trust Territory as well as

elsewhere throughout the world, and not provide the same program for

other entities of the Trust Territory, i.e., the Federated States of
Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. Furthernge, had Congress
intended application to all of the Marshalls, it could have easily and
clearly said so in the statute.
A further difficulty with respect to geographic coverage in section
102 arises from the statute's reference to “other atolls." The
statute states that the beneficiaries of the program are to be "the
people of the atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, and Utirik

and...the people of such other atolls as may be found to be or to have

been exposed to radiation from the nuclear weapons testing program."
The “other atolls" phrase was added to give the administering agency
flexibility to expand the program, in the event that it is learned
that other atolls were also affected by the testing program.

Determining which “other atolls," if any, have been affected by
exposure to radiation from the testing program would be an
extraordinarily complex task.
It could not be accomplished without
the expenditure of many millions of dollars, nor, given the
uncertainties that continue to surround this mysterious subject, could
it be accomplished to the satisfaction of all of the legitimately
interested people.
In order to develop and apply rational standards
for making such determinations, extensive scientific studies would be
necessary so as to establish the relationship between health effects
and radiation exposure. These standards would then have to be applied
to each of the "other atolls" in the Marshalls, a task complicated by
the fact that radiation exposure occurred decades ago. Thus,


necessary cost of making rational determinations as to what other
atolls should be included in the program would be disproprotionate to

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