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Uranium miners testify on RECA amendments

Uranium miners testify on RECA amendments


In the late 1970’s LeRoy Becenti went to uranium mining school and became a utility miner for Kerr-McGee in Church Rock, New Mexico.

“I was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer,” said Becenti. “They are telling me it’s from the uranium.”

Since Becenti did not work in the mines until after 1971, he, as well as hundreds of other Navajo uranium miners, are not eligible for compensation under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

“It’s not fair for some of us that worked underground,” said Becenti who started working for Kerr-McGee right after he graduated from high school. “The ones that were drilling, digging and taking out ore.” Becenti recently lost his older brother, Edison Becenti, to cancer. He was also a uranium miner.

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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at