Lost radioactive caesium-137 capsule searched in Australia

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 Lost radiocaesium-137 capsule searched in Australia

Mining company Rio Tinto has apologized for the loss of a radioactive isotope capsule that went missing in transit in Western Australia. The capsule contains a small amount of the radioactive isotope caesium-137, which on contact can lead to radiation exposure and cause serious illness.

The missing capsule is part of a rock density measuring device used in the mining industry. The population has been warned about the loss, and now special search teams equipped with the necessary equipment are trying to find the container.

It should be noted that the state of Western Australia occupies a third of the entire continent, and the capsule size – 6 by 8 mm. The loss happened on the way between the cities of Newman and Perth, located at a distance of 1400 km from each other. A member of the Australian Fire and Emergency Department (DFES) speculated that the miniature capsule could have become stuck in the tread of a passing car. , and it is not clear exactly when the capsule disappeared. The state authorities have issued a statewide radiological alert.

Western Australia's Chief Medical Officer Andrew Robertson points out that contact with the capsule can result in a radiation dose of approximately 10 roentgens per hour. The main risk is that the person who picks up the dangerous find may not be aware of its contents.

“If you have contact with this capsule, or keep it nearby, you may get skin damage, including burns, and if you keep her around for a long time, radiation sickness may develop, & ndash; Robertson warns.

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