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Tiny Radioactive Capsule Found in Outback Australia – ABC

Mining giant Rio Tinto apologized for the health safety scare triggered by the temporary loss of the radioactive capsule by a contractor carrying it from a mine in the north to Perth

Officials in Western Australia searched hundreds of kilometres for the tiny capsule, given it could be dangerous if mishandled. Reuters graphic.


A tiny but potentially deadly radioactive capsule was found in outback Western Australia on Wednesday after an extraordinary six-day search and public health alert by local officials, according to ABC News, which said the capsule was found by a vehicle fitted with a radiation detection device beside the Great Northern Highway near the town of Newman, over 1,000 kilometres north of the state capital Perth.

Australian officials found a tiny radioactive capsule on Thursday after a six-day search.
The capsule was smaller than a 10-cent coin, just 6 millimetres by 8mm. WA government image.

The discovery of the caesium-137 capsule, which fell off a truck transporting it from a Rio Tinto mine in the Pilbara region two weeks ago, was likened to finding a ‘needle in a haystack’, because the missing item – part of a radiation gauge commonly used in processing plants – was so small, the report said.

Read the full report: ABC News.





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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