Many of these “nuclear veterans” died before their stories were made public, and their bodies were littered with cancer. In the 1990s, the veil of secrecy began to rise. In 1995, President Bill Clinton launched an advisory committee to study American experiments on human radiation. A few months later, Clinton apologized to nuclear veterans and others affected by the tests, at a ceremony at the White House on October 3 to accept the 1,000-part panel report. A cohort of workers exposed to Moruroa Atoll in the Pacific during the French nuclear test program is represented by the Moruroa E Tatou Association. The organization criticized the French government`s initial refusal not to do any damage and the limited obligation of compensation totalling $13.5 million. The president of the association Moruroa E Tatou estimates that between 15,000 and 30,000 people have worked on the test program, but the official figure remains a national mystery. In 1994, the Clinton administration established the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments to study the role of the U.S. government in radiation experiments on American soldiers and American civilians from 1944 to 1974. The committee found that the U.S. government had conducted human experiments including the injection of radioisotopes and the voluntary release of radioactive gases into the environment. In addition, the members of the commission found that the government, scientists and officials involved did not follow procedures to obtain the agreement of the subjects in these experiments.  They concluded that many nuclear veterans were prevented by confidentiality laws or oaths from requiring medical care or disability compensation from the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for conditions they could have developed as a result of radiation exposure. Between 225,000 and 250,000 veterans, between 1945 and 1962, some 235 nuclear tests were conducted in the southwestern United States and the Pacific Ocean, or served near Hiroshima or Nagasaki during the occupation of Japan, after the United States dropped atomic bombs on those cities. “I think we`ve received a lot of radiation,” he said. “We were probably 20 yards away.” Lincoln Grahlfs said he understood the desire for the medal, but he was satisfied when his victory, in the form of 40 percent disability, came four years ago for his radiation-related illnesses. The retired accountant, who has five children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, has just begun telling his story as a nuclear veterinarian. Two years ago, he got wind of NAAV after serving as California district commander for foreign war veterans. “There are still a considerable number of nuclear veterans who do not know that their oath of secrecy has been lifted,” said Kiefer, 62, the head of the NAAV and an Air Force veteran, who became nuclear test cleanup operations after participating in nuclear tests in the late 1970s. “I`m going to do it today.” DOD has instructed the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to manage the certification program because it already has a database of exposed veterans, DOD officials said.
As a result, many qualified Veterans had no idea that the confidentiality ban had been lifted, nor that they could apply for benefits. Bolden didn`t search the Internet until 2015, he says. More than 50 years after the nuclear tests and more than 20 years since the government downgraded the programs, the fight remains to raise awareness and recognize nuclear veterans. After the release of the report, President Clinton formally apologized to the victims of the human radiation experiments and their families.