12/07/2011 19:33

Former Sorek nuclear worker Dr. Byrne gives testimony, says state should have settled instead of going to court.
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Dr. Thelma Byrne, former head of safety at the Sorek nuclear research center, said Wednesday that the amount of nuclear radiation workers were exposed to was significantly more than today’s legal limit.

“Dimona workers were exposed to more radiation in a day than the safe limit for a year,” she said in her witness testimony Thursday.

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Nuclear workers are engaged in a long compensation battle against the state after being exposed to what they claim were unsafe levels of radiation while working in Dimona and Nahal Sorek. Of the 44 workers that filed the suit in the mid- ’90s, nearly half have died of cancer.

Byrne said, “We were constantly being contaminated, and they didn’t tell us what we were being exposed to. There was no such thing as nuclear core safety. Safety concerns were insignificant.” She also claimed that witnesses were being harassed by government officials.

Following her first testimony approximately two months ago, Byrne claimed that a government official “called me, accused me of violating censorship laws, and threatened to take me to court. I don’t think this should have made it to court,” she said, “this should have been solved in a settlement deal, a compromise for the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s generations that worked.