Kitty Litter Not Likely Cause Of Radiation Leak

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
June 11, 2014

Scientists at a federal nuclear waste facility in New Mexico are following a new lead into the cause of a February radiation leak. They've ruled out the possibility that the leak was caused by organic kitty litter.

Investigators with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant -- or WIPP -- outside Carlsbad, N.M., are examining five nuclear waste containers that store highly acidic contents. The containers are being temporarily stored at a Texas facility. They share similar characteristics to the original container that leaked radiation deep underground at the WIPP facility four months ago.

The scientists hope these containers will help them understand what caused the leak. They also theorize that organic kitty litter, used to neutralize acidic levels within the containers, intensified the leak but did not cause it. The WIPP facility remains closed during the ongoing investigation.