ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—New Mexico environment officials are investigating if kitty litter is the culprit causing leaks in more than 500 barrels of nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory.
the kitty litter is suspected of causing a chemical reaction and radiation release at the nation’s underground nuclear waste dump.
Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn gave the Department of Energy and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico until May 30 to detail plans for permanently sealing the underground rooms where more than 300 barrels of the potentially dangerous containers of waste are stored.
However, there is no evidence that will put an end to the radiation being found at ground level.
In addition to 368 containers at the dump, environment officials say 57 more are still at Los Alamos and more than 100 are in storage in West Texas.
The waste was packed with kitty litter to absorb moisture. Officials are investigating whether a switch from inorganic to organic litter is to blame for a February leak that contaminated 22 workers.