This craze for organic stuff is terribly dangerous you know

As we all know the internet was originally built so that we could propitiate Bastet by sending cat pictures to each other. So thus a picture of a cat.

But there is another reason for this image, which is to show quite how dangerous this obsession with organic materials is. For someone deciding to use organic kitty litter, instead of the required inorganic, might just lead to the closure of one of the world's radioactive waste depositaries. At a possible cost of $7.5 billion. To say nothing of the costs of climate change if we all stop using nuclear power as a result of being unable to get rid of the waste. Which is, when we look at it, quite a high cost of someone trying to go organic.

The background is that when you've got certain solutions containing radioactive particles you want to make sure that they're not going to dry out. For if they do they might go bang: and bangs with radioactive material are something that we'd rather enjoy avoiding. One of the things that can stop thing bangness is the use of kitty litter:

Nitrate salt solutions can ignite when they dry out – which is why it’s tricky working with nitrate solutions in the lab and why you need to make sure they don’t dry out, something many a chemistry student has found out the hard way. So you need to stabilize nitrate solutions before they dry out, or prevent them from completely drying out. Traditional cat litter is made from various inorganic geologic silicate minerals like diatomaceous earth, zeolites or bentonites, materials that are excellent in absorbing and stabilizing chemical species like nitrates, ammonia, and urea. This is the very reason we use minerals for cat litter. Unfortunately, someone working with this waste, before it was to be shipped to WIPP, used a new “green” cat litter, made with materials like wheat or corn. These organic litters do not have the silicate properties needed to chemically stabilize nitrate the correct way.

One of the barrels of waste, that had already been put into the depositary, has gone bang as a result of this new and unapproved ingredient. That's not too bad: the correct use of robots means that it is potentially feasible to clean up the mess. The problem is, well, how many other damn fool hippes have we had filling up all of the other barrels?

There's undoubtedly a time and a place for desiring things to be organic: that Welsh hill lamb or that grass fed beef are certainly worth chasing across the plate. But there are also times when the obsession becomes rather dangerous. This would appear to be one of them.