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Breathe a sigh of relief in Australia: the highly radioactive mini capsule that had been missing for days was found


In Australia, authorities searched feverishly for days for a radioactive capsule. Now the pod filled with highly dangerous substance has been discovered.

In Australia, authorities searched feverishly for days for a radioactive capsule.

Now the pod filled with highly dangerous substance has been discovered.

Update from February 1, 8:23 a.m

.: Breathe easy in Australia: The radioactive capsule that has been missing for several days has been found.

This was reported by the regional government of the state of Western Australia.

The pod resurfaced on Wednesday.

"It's really a needle in a haystack that has been found and I think Western Australians will be able to sleep better tonight," said regional Disaster Relief Minister Stephen Dawson.

The capsule, measuring eight by six millimeters, fell from a truck belonging to a subcontractor of mining giant Rio Tinto between January 12 and 16 while being transported from an iron ore mine near the mining town of Newman to Perth on a 1,400-kilometer route.

It was only days later that she was noticed when she was unloaded.

The health authorities had warned the population that the capsule, which is not even the size of a 1 cent euro coin, contained so much highly radioactive cesium-137 that staying within a meter radius would have an effect on the human body like "ten X-ray treatments per hour" and acute radiation sickness could trigger.

Australia: Search for capsule filled with cesium 137 - "We take this incident very seriously"

Update from January 30, 4:55 p.m

.: The search for the radioactive capsule in Australia continues.

The silver capsule is tiny but filled with highly radioactive cesium-137.

During transport, the dangerous material was lost on a route of 1400 kilometers.

Fire and rescue teams combed streets and areas with handheld metal and radiation detectors.

The radioactive capsule had apparently fallen off a truck during transport and the loss was only noticed later after unloading.

Authorities warn against touching the capsule.

"Exposure to this substance can cause radiation burns or serious illness - if people see the capsule or anything like that, stay away and keep others away as well," said Western Australia Region Health Officer Dr.


British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, which is responsible for the loss of the capsule, has since spoken out.

"We take this incident very seriously," Australian broadcaster ABC quoted Simon Trott, head of Rio Tinto's iron ore division, as saying on Monday.

The corporation operates the Gudai Darri mine, from where the capsule was transported.

"We recognize that this is clearly a matter of great concern and apologize for the alarm it has caused among the people of Western Australia."

Rio Tinto hired a third party with the expertise and certification to securely package the dangerous capsule in preparation for shipment.

The company also launched its own investigation to find out how she could have disappeared.


Tiny radioactive capsule lost: fire brigade teams search the 1,400-kilometer transport route.

© Evan Collis/dpa

"Decent amount of radiation": Australia is feverishly looking for a radioactive capsule - warning to the population

First report from January 29, 2023:

Perth – The capsule is silver and only six by eight millimeters in size and radioactive!

The tiny capsule went missing sometime between January 10 and 16 in Western Australia en route between a mine north of the mining town of Newman and north-east Perth - somewhere along a 1,400km route.

The loss of the radioactive capsule triggered an urgent hazardous materials alert in the region.

As local media reports, radiation teams are combing the area around the highway with special radiation measuring devices.

Although the capsule is so small, it can cause significant health problems: Authorities warn that anyone who discovers something should keep a distance of at least five meters.

Warning: Radiation as high as ten x-rays in one hour

The capsule emits "a fair amount of radiation," said the region's health officer, Andrew Robertson.

Within a radius of one meter, this is about as high as ten X-rays within one hour - or the amount of natural radiation that a person is exposed to over a whole year.

“It emits both beta and gamma rays.

If you get close to her, you can suffer skin damage, including skin burns," Robertson said.

He published a photo on Twitter showing that such a radioactive capsule is significantly smaller than a ten cent coin.

Australia seeks 8mm radioactive capsule

The risk to the general public would be relatively low, the Australian authorities write.

However, it is important to be aware of the risks and what to do if someone sees the capsule.

The instruction and health warning from the authorities are clear:

  • Stay at least 5 meters away from it.

  • Do not touch the capsule.

  • Don't put it in a bag.

  • Don't put it in your car.

  • Report the find immediately.

Anyone who has touched the material should seek immediate medical advice from a local health service or any hospital emergency department.

Australia: Radioactive capsule allegedly fell off truck

Motorists who have been driving on the highway between Newmann and Perth since January 10 should check their tires to see if the capsule may have become lodged in them, reports ABC news channel.

The radioactive capsule is believed to have fallen from a truck.

She could probably have fallen through a bolt hole when a container collapsed during the journey, probably due to vibrations.

According to the authorities, the package with the capsule was packed on January 10th.

The package in question left the Newmann site on January 12 and arrived in Perth on January 16.

There it was stored in a safe belonging to a service provider.

The missing capsule was only noticed on January 25, when a measuring device was unpacked for inspection – the radioactive capsule also belonged to it.

When the packaging was opened, it was found that one of the four fastening screws was missing, the capsule and all the screws on the meter.

Why the capsule wasn't better secured

An image of the capsule is below -

— Chief Health Officer, Western Australia (@CHO_WAHealth) January 27, 2023

Radioactive capsules are used in mining gauges.

In the Newman region, where transport began, iron ore is mainly mined.

Concerns about radioactive radiation have increased in Germany since the Ukraine war.

The Chernobyl nuclear accident was more than three decades ago, but radioactive traces can still be found in this country.

Mushrooms in particular are radioactive in Germany and Austria, depending on their variety and location.


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-02-01

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