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Missing radioactive capsule found in Australian outback after huge search

The radioactive capsule fell from a truck in Australia’s outback, sparking a radiation alert. A search of hundreds of miles of roads was then initiated.

Minister for Emergency Services in Western Australia confirmed that the silver capsule which emits Caesium137 was located.

Authorities were searching for the capsule measuring 6 x 8 mm and tracing its 870-mile (1.400 km) route using radiation-scanning gear.

Minister Stephen Dawson said that the military checked the capsule and that it would be transported to a secure location in Perth.


He said, “When you think about the area of the research, it was a monumental task to locate his object, the search groups had quite literally found the needle within the haystack.”

If they were near the capsule, people were warned about possible radiation burns and sickness.

However, driving past it from a distance was considered to be less risky than the radiation emitted in an X-ray.

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Rio Tinto, a mining company, owns the capsule. It is part of an instrument that measures iron ore’s density.

Vibrations from transportation may have caused bolts and screws to loosen from the gauge, allowing them to fall out.

The truck’s journey from Gudai Darri mine to Perth took it over a longer distance than Britain, so the search area was extensive.

After the capsule was reported missing on 25/01/19, police, the defense department and Australia’s nuclear safety authority were all involved with the search.

They were searching the Great Northern Highway of the state as well as other sections used by the “road train”, a truck pulling multiple trailers.

On Tuesday, approximately 410 miles (660 km) had been searched.

Rio Tinto, who gave the capsule to another company for transport, apologized and stated that it was conducting its own investigation.


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