Kitty Litter to Blame for Nuclear Waste Leak

After the cat videos we have endured, the feline may finally be getting their overdue backlash.
And that's the take-away of a 277-page report , just released by the Department of Energy (DOE), on a radioactive leak that occurred at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, on Feb. 14, 2014. Investigators confirmed that a 55-gallon metal drum of nuclear waste burst open after it was packed with the wrong kind of cat litter, as had been suspected since last year.
When the drum in question was packed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico, it was filled with organic kitty litter called Swheat Scoop, which, as the name suggests, is primarily made with wheat. A report in the Santa Fe New Mexican last year suggested the mistake might have stemmed from a typo in Los Alamos' policy manual, which said to ensure "an organic absorbent (kitty litter)" was added to the waste when preparing drums of nitrate salt.
DOE officials concluded the contents of the drum were "chemically incompatible" and that gases built up over time, causing the lid to burst open after it was stored at WIPP.
No felines nor humans were seriously hurt.



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