Anth Colloquia: Drum Breach: Error Politics, Operational Temporalities, and the U.S. WIPP Nuclear Waste Repository’s Kitty Litter Accident




In 2014 at the WIPP underground repository in New Mexico, a nuclear waste drum mispackaged with organic kitty litter erupted with fire. This ethnographic talk explores a fraught nexus of U.S. Department of Energy technopolitics, performance incentives, labor exploitations, subcontracting arrangements, and workflow accelerations that entangled to trigger the accident.


Vincent Ialenti, MacArthur Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Public Policy & Global Affairs, UBC


UBC Anth Colluquia Series – Vincent Ialenti – poster_2020Oct8