Massive Radiation Leak Hospitalizes 20, Because Some Doofus Bought the Wrong Brand of Kitty Litter (seriously, not making this up)
A Department of Energy nuclear lab used the wrong kind of kitty litter in its haste to dispose of hazardous waste last year, leading to a radiation leak that sickened at least 20 workers and caused a shutdown of a federal disposal plant to the tune of $500 million.
“You can trust us; we’re the government.”
The report from the Santa Fe New Mexican characterizes the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico and its private operator, Los Alamos National Security LLC, as being so careless with the hazardous material that they inadvertently created what one chemist called a potential bomb. The LANL is a federal laboratory that works on nuclear technology and other national security projects.
“Paging Homer Simpson. Paging Homer Simpson.”
In its haste, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the lab used a “wheat-based kitty litter rather than clay-based kitty litter” to absorb some of the material. This mistake turned the waste into a mixture that was “akin to plastic explosives,” the paper reported.
“I know they said get the clay stuff, but this wheat-based crap looks more environmentally friendly.”
The mistake was small, but costly. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that in February 2014, once the drum containing waste had reached the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, it cracked open. At least 20 workers at the plant were injured by low levels of the radiation and the plant was shut down.
Greg Mello, executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, said that it is clear that “corners were cut” at the laboratory, and the culture needs to change.
“Yeah, the culture, that’s who we can blame. It’s the culture’s fault.”
Read the full article (minus our snide comments) at FoxNews.com.