Incorrect Kitty Litter Turns Nuclear Waste Containers into Bomb

Article points out the manner in which nuclear waste from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico was shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico in storage drums that had been packed with an organic-base kitty litter instead of a clay-based kitty litter.  Kitty litter is often used to soak up excess liquids in nuclear waste while in storage.  The error in using organic kitty litter meant that the components in one drum decomposed into a bomb that exploded within the facility on February 14, 2014 contaminating 20 workers and closing down the WIPP indefinitely.  Cleanup is expected to cost $500 million and last several years, with nuclear waste from other sites to remain stranded until cleanup is complete.

November 15, 2014 – Santa Fe New Mexican

November 24, 2014 – Gizmodo

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