Australia: Missing radioactive capsule found

Australia: Missing radioactive capsule found


A potentially dangerous radioactive capsule has been found in Australia where it has been wanted since mid-January after being lost while being transported by truck from a mine belonging to the Rio Tinto group, the authorities announced on Wednesday. authorities. 

“It's a good thing. Like I said, it was definitely a needle in a haystack that was found and I think the people of Western Australia will be able to sleep better tonight,” Steve Dawson, Minister for Health, told reporters. Australian state emergency services.

British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto apologized for the loss on Monday.

Authorities have traveled hundreds of miles of highway in search of the tiny capsule.

It was eventually discovered by the side of a deserted road just south of the town of Newman, near the mine from which it had been transported, State Emergency Services Manager Darren Klemm said.

After six days of searching, one of the mobilized vehicles detected radiation while traveling on the highway.

Authorities are now working to recover the capsule safely before taking it to a safe location, Klemm said.

The silver-colored capsule, which measures 8 mm by 6 mm, used during mining operations, according to the authorities, contains a radioactive substance, Cesium-137, capable of causing acute irradiation.

It had been lost during its transport by truck between a mine near the remote town of Newman and the northern suburbs of Perth (south-west), a distance of approximately 1400 kilometers.