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Radioactive kitty litter may have ruined our best hope to store nuclear waste

23
May
2014

The most dangerous nuclear waste in the US is currently scattered between 77 locations all over the country, awaiting permanent storage. Until February, many experts suggested that the best place to put it was a facility about 40 miles east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). For 15 years, WIPP has operated as the first and only permanent, deep geologic nuclear waste storage facility in the country, holding low level radioactive materials — mostly clothing and tools exposed to radiation from nuclear weapons production — in steel barrels more than 2,150 feet below the Earth’s surface. But earlier this year two emergencies brought that suggestion — and WIPP’s future — into question.

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