Saturday, April 1, 2023

Radioactive mini-capsule disappeared in Australia

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The capsule is tiny – but dangerous. The region’s health officer, Andrew Robertson, posted this image on Twitter.

The tiny, dangerous capsule had apparently fallen off a truck while being transported from a mine north of the mining town of Newman to a depot near the metropolis of Perth. How and where exactly did that happen on the approximately 1400-kilometer route? Completely unclear. And: It apparently happened in the second week of January – but according to information from the TV broadcaster ABC, the missing capsule was only noticed on January 25 when the truck was unloaded.

The loss of the capsule containing the highly radioactive caesium-137, measuring just six by eight millimetres, is extremely worrying given the very dangerous material, said Roger Cook, Deputy Prime Minister of Western Australia. The region’s health officer, Andrew Robertson, issued an urgent warning over the weekend. Anyone who discovers something that looks like a tiny capsule should keep a distance of at least five meters. The Western Australia Department of Health informed the public about the incident late on Friday (local time).

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