The U.S. nuclear weapons program has sickened an estimated 36,500 Americans and killed over 4,000, according to an analysis of government figures by the Rocky Mountain News. The newspaper’s estimates may be lower than actual numbers because it only counted people who have been approved for government compensation and not those who were sickened or killed but denied aid. The numbers include workers who built nuclear bombs, troops that inhaled dust from bomb tests, and workers who mined uranium. Since 1945, the U.S. has constructed some 70,000 nuclear weapons and remains the only nation to have detonated any outside of tests. The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, instantly killed over 200,000 people total and injured and sickened hundreds of thousands more.

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