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Thread: Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

    GEOFF BRUMFIEL
    May 23, 2014

    In February, a 55-gallon drum of radioactive waste burst open inside America's only nuclear dump, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. Now investigators believe the cause may have been a pet store purchase gone bad.

    "It was the wrong kitty litter," says James Conca, a geochemist in Richland, Wash., who has spent decades in the nuclear waste business.

    It turns out there's more to cat litter than you think. It can soak up urine, but it's just as good at absorbing radioactive material. "It actually works well both in the home litter box as well as the radiochemistry laboratory," says Conca, who is not directly involved in the current investigation.

    Cat litter has been used for years to dispose of nuclear waste. Dump it into a drum of sludge and it will stabilize volatile radioactive chemicals. The litter prevents it from reacting with the environment. And this is what contractors at Los Alamos National Laboratory were doing as they packed Cold War-era waste for shipment to the dump. But at some point, they decided to make a switch, from clay to organic.

    Keep reading: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...waste-accident
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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

    America's only nuclear dump? Is this information coming from the geochemist in Richland Washington? Home of the largest nuclear dump, the contents of which slowly but surely are leaking under ground toward the Columbia River? Credibility problem?

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    Default Re: Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

    I did not know that!
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

    No matter how much governments and corporations assure us they know what they are doing, there will always be the possibility of human error.

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