A potentially dangerous radioactive capsule has been found in Australia, authorities announced on Wednesday.
She had been wanted since mid-January and had been lost while being transported by truck from a mine.
" This is a good thing.
As I said, it was definitely a needle in a haystack that was found and I think the locals
of Western Australia will be able to sleep better tonight,” said Steve Dawson, head of emergency services in that Australian state.
British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto apologized for the loss on Monday.
Authorities drove hundreds of highway miles in search of the tiny capsule.
She was eventually discovered by the side of a deserted road just south of the town of Newman, near the mine from which she had been transported, state emergency services official Darren Klemm said. .
After six days of research, one of the mobilized vehicles detected radiation while traveling on the highway.
Located, she has yet to be recovered safely
Authorities are now working to recover the capsule safely before taking it to a safe place, Darren Klemm said.
Silver in color, the capsule, which measures 8 mm by 6 mm, used during mining operations, according to the authorities contains a radioactive substance, cesium 137, likely to cause acute irradiation.
Cesium 137 is one of the main sources of radioactive contamination during nuclear reactor accidents, the best known of which are those at Chernobyl (Ukraine) in 1986 and Fukushima (Japan) in 2011.
The capsule was lost during transport by truck between a mine near the remote town of Newman and the northern suburbs of Perth (southwest of the country), a distance of approximately 1,400 kilometers.