small one Radioactive capsule, potentially fatal, found in Australia: Western Australian state authorities announced today. The search for the capsule began in mid-January, when it was lost while being transported by a truck from a mine.
“It’s a good thing. Like I said, a needle in a haystack has been found and I think people in Western Australia will be able to sleep better tonight,” Australian state emergency services chief Steve Dawson told reporters.
Measuring only 8 by 6 millimeters in size, it contains enough cesium-137 to make a human very sick or even killed: it’s the tiny radioactive capsule missing from a truck driving along a remote road in Western Australia. An incident that occurred a few weeks ago, for which the mining giant Rio Tinto, which had contracted the transportation with an authorized offshore company, apologized. The car had left from a mine near the town of Newman, 1,400 kilometers north of Perth, the capital of the state of Western Australia.
Rio Tinto iron mines manager wrote: “We realize this is a matter of concern, and we apologize for the alarm it has caused in the Western Australian community. We have launched our own investigation to understand how the capsule went missing.” Simon Trott. The capsule is part of a mechanism used in mining to measure the density of iron ore. According to the authorities, people must stay at least 5 meters away from the capsule, which emits beta and gamma rays with a radiation level equivalent to that affecting a person who undergoes 10 x-rays every hour. The state’s chief of health, Andrew Robertson, said authorities only received notification on Friday.
He added that the container it was in fell due to the car’s vibrations. The capsule may have fallen through the hole left by the bolt, and also lost. Rio Tinto said the meter was originally picked up on January 12 from the Godai Dare iron ore mine near Newman and delivered to the Malacca suburb of Perth on January 16. But it wasn’t until January 25 that the package was opened when the device was found to be “defective” with the radioactive capsule missing. On the same day the state police was informed. Technicians search for the capsule along the route where it allegedly fell, using Geiger counters.
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