The Australian authorities reported this Wednesday that they
the tiny radioactive capsule
by the Rio Tinto mining company in a vast and complicated search for this material that can be fatal.
"I want to emphasize that this is an extraordinary result (...) The search teams have literally
found the needle in the haystack
," the head of Emergency Services in the state of Western Australia, Stephen Dawson, told a press conference.
The representative of the regional government specified that the device,
6 millimeters in diameter and 8 millimeters high
, was found this Wednesday morning
about 50 kilometers south of the city of Newman
, where a truck picked it up days ago to transport it to the city of Perth, a route of about 1,400 kilometers - a distance longer than the length of Great Britain.
The capsule is 6 millimeters in diameter and 8 in height.
The small capsule
was found among stones
in the ditch about two meters away from the Great Northern Highway, where a car
equipped with special devices
- traveling on the road at about 70 kilometers per hour - discovered the radiation. emitted by the capsule.
The teams established a
security perimeter of 20 meters around the object
to proceed "safely" to its recovery and it was
placed in a lead container,
which protects from radiation.
The capsule was sent back to Newman, where it will be stored until Thursday when it is moved to a center in Perth, the capital of Western Australia.
The small capsule was found between stones in the ditch about two meters away from the Great Northern Highway.
They survey the area
Members of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) examine the area where the capsule was found to "make sure it is not contaminated" due to the risk of radiation leaking out.
The tiny capsule contains a "small amount" of the radioactive substance
, used in mining, and was lost while being transported between January 10 and 16, the Western Australia Department of Health previously explained.
Authorities are examining the area where the capsule was found to "make sure it is not contaminated."
burns and diseases
Authorities warned, in a previous alert,
about the risks of exposure to this toxic substance
, which include "radiation burns or radiation sickness," such as cancer.
Although this Wednesday they assured that it
that someone has been exposed to radiation because it was
far enough from the road
and from any population.
"It doesn't appear to have been moved, but rather
fell from the truck
," Andrew Robertson, director general of the Western Australia Office of Health, told the media.
Fire personnel, during the search for the capsule.
The toxic material was packaged on January 10 and the vehicle arrived in Perth six days later, but
it was not until the 25th
that cargo inspectors realized that one of the packages
was torn and one of those tiny letters capsules had been lost
on the way.
The radioactive device is part of a density gauge that had been used at Rio Tinto's Gudai-Darri mine in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.
The Western Australia Radiation Council has opened an investigation to determine how the radioactive capsule could have been lost, although it has not specified when it will publish its final report.
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