Israel Nuke Agency to Pay 170 Scientists Suffering from Cancer

The issue has been in dispute for over 20 years.

View of the Israeli nuclear facility in the Negev Desert outside Dimona
View of the Israeli nuclear facility in the Negev Desert outside Dimona . (photo credit:JIM HOLLANDER / POOL / REUTERS)

 

The government has agreed to a landmark settlement to compensate around 170 of its Dimona nuclear scientists who are suffering from cancer, the Israel Atomic Energy Commission announced Monday.

The issue has been in dispute for over 20 years, with some of the original plaintiffs who sued the IAEC no longer even living.

Retired judge Esther Dodkvitz successfully performed mediation between the sides, helping reach a settlement after receiving guidelines from the Rivlin Commission, named after former Supreme Court justice Eliezer Rivlin.

The announcement did not give a set figure for how much money the Dimona employees will receive.

It did emphasize, however, that part of the settlement states that the IAEC  does not need to formally take responsibility for the employees’ illness.

The government said that Rivlin’s Commission found that there were no clear-cut higher signs of cancer among the plaintiffs which could be connected with their work at Dimona than in the general population.

However, Rivlin also recommended compensating the employees due to their unique and important contributions to the state as long as they could present some evidence connecting their cancer to their work, even if the threshold of proof was lower than in usual court cases.

IAEC Chairman Zeev Shnir said, “The safety of our employees has always been and will always be the supreme consideration in our activities. Our concern for our employees is what was before us in arriving at the settlement.”

As reported by The Jerusalem Post