Friday, September 4, 2015

The $19billion typo

An American nuclear waste facility, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, took 20 years and $19 billion to build and a simple typo has shut it down. A radioactive drum burst open on Valentine’s Day last year. Drums of radioactive material were trucked in from around the US, where they were placed in salt caverns that would eventually be collapsed, burying the waste.

But investigations have shown that instead of INorganic (clay) kitty litter being added to the contents of the drums to stabilize it, a revised policy manual in 2012 instructed workers at the laboratory to use organic kitty litter to soak up excess liquid in drums of nitrate salts.

Which in turn led to the inevitable kaboom. A site that was supposed to last for 10,000 years is now being closed after just fifteen years.

It really would have been much cheaper to get their manual edited and proofread professionally by a couple of grammar Nazis.

The full story is here:

*Bonus points to anyone who noticed the typo in the picture.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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