Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors President Robert Celestial
The Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors which has been campaigning for years for Guam's inclusion in a 'downwinder' list of Pacific islanders affected by nuclear fallout from long ago testing is continuing its activities.
PARS will be holding a general membership meeting and fundraiser on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 at the Tamuning Senior Citizen Center.
PARS was created in 2002 to advocate for Guam’s inclusion into the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act or RECA as “downwinders,” due to the island's exposure to radioactive fallout from nuclear testing conducted in the Marshall Islands from 1946-1962. The PARS group has lobbied for over a decade with the Guam Legislature, which has introduced numerous resolutions to support the inclusion of Guam into RECA. Other lobbying targets have been the U.S. Congress and President of the United States, Delegate Bordallo has worked with U.S. Senator Tom Udall and Rep. Ben Lujan to amend RECA to include all of New Mexico, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Missouri as well as Guam. On behalf of PARS, President Robert Celestial has also written to President Obama to ask for an executive order for Guam’s inclusion.
The National Research Council’s report concluded in 2005 that “Guam did receive measurable fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific” and recommended that people living on island during that period be compensated under RECA, “in a way similar to that of persons considered to be downwinders.”
Celestial says, “After over 14 years of lobbying, we continue to fight for inclusion in RECA and for compensation to those affected by the nuclear fallout. Many of our members have passed on without seeing any recognition or compensation. We will continue our efforts to honor those who have passed and to advocate for our remaining members and hope that in our lifetime, we will see our efforts be successful in Guam’s inclusion into RECA.”
The general members meeting and fundraiser is open to the public. Mr. Celestial will be presenting the history of the work that PARS has done and will inform the community on its efforts.