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Australia: a missing radioactive capsule has been found

A potentially dangerous radioactive capsule has been found in Australia where it has been wanted since mid-January 2023, authorities announced Wednesday 1 February. It went missing while being transported by truck from a Rio Tinto mine. “It’s a good thing. Like I said, it was definitely a needle in the haystack of being found and I think people in Western Australia will be able to sleep better tonight.”This was stated to the press by Steve Dawson, Minister of Emergency Services in this Australian state.

loss and apology

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto on Monday apologized for the loss. Authorities drove hundreds of miles on highways looking for the tiny capsule. It was eventually discovered on the side of a deserted road south of the town of Newman, near the mine from which it had been taken, said State Emergency Services official Darren Clem.

After six days of searching, one of the packaged vehicles detected radiation while driving on the highway. Klemm said authorities are now working to safely recover the capsule before it can be moved to a safe location.

A photo released by Western Australian Emergency Services on February 1, 2023 of the radioactive capsule, which went missing while being transported by truck, and was found along a deserted road south of the town of Newman (WA Government/AFP – Publication)

The silver-colored capsule, measuring 8 mm by 6 mm, used during mining operations, according to the authorities, contained radioactive material, cesium-137, capable of causing blunt radiation. It went missing while being trucked between a mine near the remote town of Newman and the northern suburbs of Perth (southwest), a distance of approximately 1,400 km.

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