The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

The half billion nuclear kitty litter incident

  by Brian Nitz “…………………………. imagine being the person who caused a nuclear accident by ordering the wrong kitty litter?

It happened in February 2014 at a nuclear weapons waste processing facility for the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Anyone involved may be trying hard to forget that it ever happened. The confusion began with a typo in a request for “kitty litter/zeolite clay.” (Zeolites can also be used in energy storage as I wrote here).

At some point this was replaced with kitty litter (clay). This was further transformed into an order for organic cat litter, specifically the sWheat Scoop brand which the manufacturer claims is 100% wheat. Now while the word organic has a folk meaning to environmentalists and hipsters at your local cafe, to chemists it means something more specific……………………………

Don’t try this at home

Green Prophet recently covered the possibilities of using Zeolite for energy storage and this amazing mineral has many more tricks up its sleeve. But while it might seem obvious that anything capable of detoxifying cat pee would be equally effective for nuclear waste disposal, this isn’t necessarily true.

The problem with using 100% organic wheat-based organic kitty litter for your nuclear waste disposal instead of zeolite (non-clay) kitty litter has to do with its reactivity and flammability when confined in a barrel with plutonium, americium, uranium and nitrate-based processing chemicals when compared to zeolite. It doesn’t help that all of this takes place deep underground in an abandoned salt mine where there is much more salt and nuclear waste than there are people to watch it.

So the problem wasn’t discovered until barrel #68660 burst, releasing radiation into a ventilation system. It is believed that several hundred nuclear waste barrels were contaminated with the wrong kind of kitty litter. The cost of the cleanup is said to have been more than half a billion.


February 14, 2023 - Posted by | incidents, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: