Missing coin-sized radioactive capsule found in Australia

The coin-sized radioactive capsule that went missing in Western Australia last week has been found by country’s emergency services. The authorities in Western Australia’s sparsely populated Kimberley region said that they had “literally found the needle in the haystack”.

The announcement of the loss sparked a frantic search since last week, stoking unprecedented public health warning spanning hundreds of kilometres in the sparsely populated West Australian region. 

“It’s a good result, as I’ve said it’s certainly a needle in a haystack that has been found, and I think West Australians can sleep better tonight,” West Australian emergency services minister Stephen Dawson told reporters.

Who found the radioactive capsule?

The capsule was found by a team from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Australia’s missing radioactive capsule: What happened?

An urgent public warning was issued after the Caesium-137 capsule was reported missing on January 25. It was reported that the capsule apparently fell off a truck transporting it from a Rio Tinto mine to Perth, a 1400-kilometre stretch.

It vanished between January 11 and January 16, but its loss was not reported for more than a week, local media reported.

What is the radioactive capsule like?

According to reports, the now found capsule measures 6mm in diameter by 8mm in height. it is used in mining equipment but can lead to dangerously high doses of radiation if mishandled.

Western Australians were warned of the dangerous misplaced capsule in a press conference held late on Friday afternoon.

The state’s Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson warned at the time it could be anywhere between Perth and the Pilbara, an area stretching for 1,400 kilometres.

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