Nuke expert believes ‘kitty litter’ switch led to WIPP leak

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 8:00 pm | Updated: 9:20 pm, Fri May 9, 2014.

An absorbent material similar to kitty litter is the likely cause of a radiation leak that shut down the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad three months ago, according to a longtime nuclear expert.

A company in charge of packing radioactive contaminated materials at Los Alamos National Laboratory in containers for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant switched from using a clay-based absorbent in the drums to a wheat-based absorbent — both made of the same materials used in different types of kitty litter, according to Jim Conca, a geochemist who worked for years at the lab and in environmental monitoring for WIPP.

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  • dave lucas posted at 2:46 pm on Sat, May 17, 2014.

    waiono Posts: 4

    Jim's article in Forbes clearly indicates that no one has actually found the source of the leak yet Jim "concludes" it is bogus kitty litter.

    Considering that he also was in the "WIPP is safe for 10,000 years" camp, one would rationally conclude that his 10,000 year claim might just be as faulty as his kitty litter claim.

    What is the purpose of throwing out such a claim when on one has even determined the actual source of the leak yet?

  • dave lucas posted at 2:43 pm on Sat, May 17, 2014.

    waiono Posts: 4

    "We still need more visual evidence to be absolutely certain. The drum thought to have burst is about 10 rows back from the waste face. See photo of the waste panel in question. The Valentine’s Day event seems to have originated from a spot where that particular waste stream was placed."

  • dave lucas posted at 2:42 pm on Sat, May 17, 2014.

    waiono Posts: 4

  • Joseph Hempfling posted at 10:21 am on Sat, May 17, 2014.

    joehempfling Posts: 192

    Don't you just love the irony of all this; and now it is the "kitty litters" fault !
    maybe it was GMO ? or even contained Floride ? Hey folks we are playing
    with the future of the very Planet we live on, and time to get serious; STOP
    NUCLEAR POWER BEFORE IT STOPS US ! p.s is anyone listening//

  • dave lucas posted at 12:11 am on Sat, May 17, 2014.

    waiono Posts: 4

    This is why we trust such illustrious scientists such as James. No one has been to the accident site yet he has, no doubt through teleportation, deduced the cause of the accident as 'kitty litter'.

    "WIPP is still the best place to store radioactive waste. We just need to clean the cat box more often."-James Conca

  • Sandra Rowley posted at 6:03 pm on Mon, May 12, 2014.

    Sandra Rowley Posts: 2

    Opinions about cat litter?Just too heavy! Lets just lighten up a bit & chat about possible missing oversight, criminal negligence & imminent public danger,...inconsequential stuff like that,ok?

  • Michael Faust posted at 1:29 pm on Sun, May 11, 2014.

    Mike Faust Posts: 21

    Some reall truth on WIPP. Its a lot more dangerous than they have let on.

  • Sandra Rowley posted at 4:12 pm on Sat, May 10, 2014.

    Sandra Rowley Posts: 2

    I DID a comment. Did Ya lose it?

  • Katherine Guidry posted at 9:26 am on Sat, May 10, 2014.

    KatherineGuidry Posts: 3

    The dismantling of the New Mexico Environment Dept when the Gov. took over can not have helped the decision making process....all the hard won work on the Corrective Action Order is being undermined by lack of commitment to the Environment....even the easy to fix problems like the litter seems to have to run thru a course of political roadblocks...our environment can not be a political tool


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